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Covid Protocol

Covid cases go up in Kolkata as protocol goes for a toss

KMC officials and public health experts blamed the rise on people’s reluctance to maintaining Covid safety protocol and opening up of almost all facilities

Subhajoy Roy | Published 22.11.21, 07:06 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.

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The number of daily new Covid cases in Kolkata that had dropped below 100 in August has steadily increased since then. Now, the number of daily new cases hovers around 240. 

Officials of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and public health experts blamed the rise on people’s reluctance to maintaining Covid safety protocol and opening up of almost all facilities.

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A look through the daily Covid bulletin published by the state health department showed that the number of daily new Covid cases in Kolkata was less than hundred in August. The numbers touched 100 in September, further rose close to 150 by the end of September when crowding because of Puja shopping was common. A week after Durga Puja ended the daily new cases hovered around 240. 

Since then the number of daily new cases in the city have steadily remained in this range. 

The numbers had only briefly touched 270 for few days in late October and early November.

KMC officials, who are involved in the management of Covid in Kolkata, said the numbers started to rise since markets started teeming with people ahead of Durga Puja. 

As shoppers started thronging markets from late August and early September, the numbers kept increasing.

“It further rose because of crowding in some Puja pandals during Durga Puja,” said a KMC official.

The bulletin published by the state health department shows that the number of daily new cases hovered around 150 in the week before Durga Puja, but sharply rose to about 270 within two weeks of Durga Puja getting over.

KMC officials said had people followed basic Covid protocol like wearing a mask and avoiding crowded places, the numbers would have remained lower. 

Soumyadeep Bhaumik, a public health specialist with The George Institute of Global Health, India, said following Covid protocol becomes all the more necessary now that most restrictions have been withdrawn. 

“We cannot shut everything because the economy has to bounce back. This why people need top behave more responsibly. There is nothing new that they have to do. Wear a mask and avoid overcrowded places and maintain distance as much as possible,” said Bhaumik.

He also highlighted the fact that a large section of the population is yet to be vaccinated and there is no reason to feel complacent.

“I think our health system has to pick out those who are yet to take vaccine and convince them so that they get vaccinated,” he said.

Like in Kolkata, the numbers for the whole of Bengal also started rising from August and rose sharply within two weeks from Durga Puja getting over. 

The number of daily new Covid cases in Bengal was about 730 or 740 in August. The daily new cases rose to about 980 in end October, within two weeks of Durga Puja.

The daily new cases reported from across Bengal is remaining in the range of 750 t0 800 on most days recently.

Last updated on 22.11.21, 08:19 AM
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