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Kolkatans ignore Covid symptoms, test numbers dip

Twenty per cent of the patients a doctor was seeing at the AMRI Mukundapur outpatients’ department were coming with fever

Sanjay Mandal | Published 03.08.22, 06:36 AM
West Bengal records less than 1,000 fresh Covid cases on Tuesday.

West Bengal records less than 1,000 fresh Covid cases on Tuesday.

File photo

Many Kolkatans are having fever with Covid-like symptoms but few are getting themselves tested, said doctors.

As the number of Covid cases has started coming down, there is an increasing trend among people not to get tested for fever with cough and cold, the doctors said.

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On Tuesday, West Bengal recorded less than 1,000 fresh Covid cases.

According to the state health department, 883 new cases were reported from across the state with four deaths. In the middle of July, the number was above 3,000.

On July 15, the state had 3,067 new Covid cases with five deaths.

The number of samples tested has also gone down now compared to the middle of last month, the health department data shows.

On Tuesday 11,808 samples were tested for Covid with 7.48 per cent rate of positivity. On July 15, 699 samples were tested with 19.54 per cent rate of positivity, the health department data has revealed.

At the hospitals too, the rate of positivity has come down. RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences is now having a rate of positivity for Covid between 10 and 12 per cent.

“The volume of tests has not reduced at our hospital, which is around 50 tests every day. However, the rate of positivity has come down,” said R Venkatesh, regional director, east and south of Narayana Health that runs the RN Tagore hospital.

A resident of south Kolkata’s Gariahat, in his late 40s and his daughter, were having a running nose, headache, sneezing and cough. “We are not getting tested but keeping us isolated,” said the man.

Doctors said there were many who were not getting despite high fever with other Covid-like symptoms. But said it was wise to get tested.

“Tests are important because if tested positive then the need for further investigations for other diseases is removed,” said Chandramouli Bhattacharya, infectious diseases expert at Peerless Hospital.

“If the Covid test result is positive and the person is having mild symptoms then having paracetamol will do. But, if the test is negative and the fever persists then we need further investigations to rule out other causes of fever like malaria and dengue.”

Amitabha Saha, a critical care expert who heads the intensive care unit at AMRI Mukundapur, said about 20 per cent of the patients he was seeing at the outpatients’ department were coming with fever.

“This time of the year, viral fever, dengue and malaria are common. During the first two waves because most people stayed indoors, non-Covid fever cases were much less,” said Saha.

“This time, I am advising Covid tests on the first day of the fever for those who are having comorbidities. However, for young people who are healthy, I am advising Covid test only if the fever is persisting for two to three days,” he said.

Saha said if someone has a fever with respiratory symptoms, they are advised isolation, maintain hydration and use paracetamol. They should undergo a Covid test as advised by the physician.

Last updated on 03.08.22, 06:36 AM
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