The number of Covid patients admitted is below 10 in most hospitals across Kolkata for several weeks now but the healthcare facilities said they were continuing with the mask mandate.
Some of the hospitals said they were still restricting the number of visitors, while others have relaxed the rule.
West Bengal recorded 598 new Covid cases on Thursday with four deaths, according to the state health department. A month back, on July 11, the state had reported 1,915 new Covid cases and three deaths.
Although the number has come down, most hospitals in Kolkata said they were not allowing visitors and staff without a mask. The state government has advised everyone to wear masks in public places but not wearing one is no longer a punishable offence.
Earlier, the police were slapping fines on people for not wearing masks in public places.
Peerless Hospital had five Covid patients on Thursday. One of them was in the ICU. The hospital had 35 patients at the peak of the most recent surge about a couple of months back.
“For about a month we are having less than 10 Covid patients admitted. However, it is still mandatory to wear masks while entering the hospital. Because there is always a possibility of cases going up again,” said Sudipta Mitra, chief executive of Peerless Hospital. He said the restriction of visitors for each patient is also in place.
Medica Superspecialty Hospital had eight Covid patients on Thursday. The number has been in the single digit for the last few weeks, said officials.
“However, we are keeping the mask mandate in place because it has been proven that masks are good for the prevention of Covid as well as other infectious diseases. It is a healthy habit for patients, doctors and visitors to wear masks in hospital,” said Alok Roy, chairman of Medica.
The RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences had four Covid patients on Thursday, said officials.
Belle Vue Clinic, however, saw a sudden surge in Covid admissions on Thursday. The hospital had six Covid patients on Wednesday but on Thursday evening, the count rose to 13. Ten of the patients are in the ICU.
“The numbers were below 10 for more than a month, but suddenly on Thursday, we saw a surge in admissions. During the peak of the fourth wave, we had 17 patients,” said Pradip Tondon, CEO of Belle Vue.
He said wearing a mask was mandatory inside the hospital. The rule that only one visitor can visit a patient at a time is still in force.
■ August 11 New cases: 598 Deaths: 4
■ July 27 New cases: 1,273 Deaths: 5
■ July 12 New cases: 2,659 Deaths: 5