Many hospitals in Kolkata have no Covid patient admitted.
In some, only one patient infected with the virus is undergoing treatment.
The scene was quite different in the run-up to Puja in the past two years, when the Covid wards in most hospitals were almost full.
West Bengal on Thursday recorded 205 new Covid cases and one death, according to the state health department.
On the same day (September 8) last year, the state had reported 751 new cases and nine deaths.
On September 8, 2020, when the state and the rest of the country were grappling with the first wave of the pandemic, the figures were 3,091 and 57.
Citing the figures, Chandramouli Bhattacharya, infectious diseases expert at Peerless Hospital, said Covid was on the wane for the time being, but warned against dropping the guard and urged people who are yet to be vaccinated or boosted to get their shots at the earliest.
Some of the hospitals said they had further cut down the number of Covid beds. At Peerless Hospital, no Covid patient has been admitted since August 29.
“We had our last Covid patient discharged on August 28. The Covid ward has been lying vacant since. So, for the past three days, we have been admitting non-Covid patients there,” said Sudipta Mitra, chief executive of Peerless Hospital.
The hospital had a 42-bed Covid ward till the beginning of this month.
“Now, we have kept only four single-bed rooms for Covid patients,” he said.
The Covid patient count at AMRI Hospitals Salt Lake has been zero since the last week of August, said an official of the healthcare chain.
“The hospital has five Covid beds, all of which are unoccupied. We will wait for a few more days before converting those to non-Covid beds,” said the official.
At Belle Vue Clinic, the Covid ward has been vacant for three days.
“On Thursday, two patients were admitted again,” said Pradip Tondon, CEO of Belle Vue.
At Medica Superspecialty Hospital and the RN Tagore hospital, also a single Covid patient was admitted.
Enhanced rainfall alert
A tormenting spell of heat and humidity was finally broken by a round of thundershowers in the city on Thursday evening.
Gusts of wind and streaks of lightning preceded the showers, which started a little after 7pm.
Met officials attributed the train to thunderclouds that formed over the Bangladesh coast.
“There was enough heating and humidity. A spell was due in Kolkata.... Clouds over the Sunderbans travelled to Kolkata in the evening,” said G.K. Das, director, IMD, Kolkata.
The sun is set to come out strongly again on Friday, but another wet spell is headed Kolkata’s way.
A low-pressure area on the Bay has prompted the Met office to issue an “enhanced rainfall” alert for the districts of south Bengal, including Kolkata, from September 10 to 13.
The weather in Kolkata is likely to change from the second half of Saturday, said Das.