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Monday, June 01, 2020

Will rely more on PCR testing than rapid testing for confirmation: Bengal Chief Secy

Health Department sources said four more doctors and a patient in Calcutta Medical College tested positive. In the last 48 hours, 10 people, including seven doctors and patients of the hospital, were infected with the virus.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: April 21, 2020 2:10:29 am
West Bengal coronavirus cases, coronavirus cases West Bengal, West Bengal COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 cases West Bengal, India news, Indian Express A child undergoes rapid testing for coronavirus at Belgachia, one of the red zones in Kolkata, on Monday. (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

WEST Bengal on Monday recorded 54 new cases of coronavirus, including four doctors and a patient of a Kolkata hospital, taking the total number of active cases to 245, said Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha. This was the highest single-day jump.

Sinha said, “In the last 24 hours, 54 more people tested positive of coronavirus and seven people recovered and discharged from hospitals. The total number of active cases has increased to 245 from 198. 73 patients have recovered and 5,469 samples have been tested till Monday.”

Health Department sources said four more doctors and a patient in Calcutta Medical College tested positive. In the last 48 hours, 10 people, including seven doctors and patients of the hospital, were infected with the virus.

Sinha said the government had started rapid antibody testing in parts of containment zones in Kolkata and Howrah districts. “We can use rapid tests in hotspots to identify more infected people and in low risk zones to exclude people. But, we will rely more on normal testing (RT-PCR) rather than rapid testing.”

Working time of sweet shops cut by 4 hours

Chief Secretary Sinha said to ensure strict compliance of the lockdown, flower and sweet shops had to shut by noon against 4 pm as directed earlier.

Appealing to people to comply with lockdown, he said, “We will be more strict in the containment areas but law enforcement cannot do everything. People should be more responsible. Law is not the only solution. We want everybody to remain at their home. Don’t move out unnecessarily.”

He said density in some areas was creating hurdles in the fight against the virus. “We are thinking of barricading markets and allow a limited number of people to enter them. But we are unable to do so because of high density.” The government has started mapping areas with fever cases.

He said 1,500 medium, small and micro industries had applied for resumption of operation. As many as 375 unit were not given approvals because they were in hotspot areas. Nearly 25% of government employees attended office.

Malda Medical College and Hospital started normal testing from Monday. All 59 samples tested negative, sources said.

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