The state health department on Thursday advised that only fully vaccinated and asymptomatic people should attend public gatherings. The department emphasised on door-to-door visits so primary vaccination and precaution doses are administered to the eligible population.
The advisory came in the wake of a new surge in Covid infections.
The state reported 1,524 new cases on Thursday, of which 625 cases were reported from Kolkata. On Wednesday, 1,424 fresh Covid cases were reported from across the state, of which 590 were from Kolkata.
Some of the points made in the advisory are
- Only asymptomatic and fully vaccinated people should preferably attend public gatherings following Covid-appropriate behaviour
- Special emphasis should be given to completion of primary vaccination and precaution dose administration. Door-to-door campaigns, if required, must be organised
- Elderly people and those with comorbidities like hypertension, diabetes, chronic lung/kidney/liver diseases should get fully vaccinated. Those eligible for booster doses should take them
- People in a public gathering should maintain respiratory hygiene like wearing masks, maintaining physical distance
- Places of public gathering like markets/public transport should be well-sanitised and well-ventilated
- Thermal screening must be done in public places
Thursday’s advisory was issued after several weeks during which Covid infections remained low. For the last two weeks, the numbers have been rising steadily.
The health department has also asked hospitals to admit patients with comorbidities who test positive for Covid.
“Patients who have comorbidity(s) and are positive in Covid test on being incidentally done will be admitted under primary caregiver in their respective ward,” the department said in modified Covid protocol notice issued a couple of days ago.
According to this protocol, patients who undergo procedures involving oral/nasal cavity or pharynx have to take a Covid test before the procedure. All patients with respiratory issues exhibiting symptoms of Covid should also undergo a Covid test before admission. A Covid test is also required for anyone who has fever and oxygen saturation below 94.
But no test is required for routine admission or prior to a procedure for someone without any Covid symptoms.
Abhijit Chowdhury, a public health expert and a member of the West Bengal government’s Covid-19 task force, said the current response to the surge would follow an approach where normal life is not interrupted yet lives are not lost. It has to be a balance between normalcy and protection of lives, he said.