Bengal: More than 6,000 new Covid cases detected in a 24-hour period
Bengal on Sunday reported 6,153 new infections — above 6,000 in a 24-hour period for the first time since June 6, 2021, 210 days ago — including 3,194 or nearly 52 per cent of the state’s total, from Calcutta alone.
Even on Christmas, the statewide total was 552 and that of Calcutta 197.
The surge apparent since last Wednesday, is mostly restricted to Calcutta and its surrounding areas for now, and is attributed by sources in the state government to the disregard for Covid-19 safety protocols among revellers in the run-up to Christmas.
New infections reported on Sunday are indicative of people getting infected between December 24 and 28. The 3,194 new infections for Calcutta is the highest day’s count for the city since May 22, 2021. Calcutta also reported two deaths on Sunday.
There were also 2,407 recoveries and eight deaths reported on Sunday, resulting in a rise by 3,738 in total of active cases to 17,038, above 17,000 again after July 6, 2021. As a result, recovery rate fell overnight to 97.77 per cent (from 97.95 on Saturday, 98.14 on Friday and 98.32 on Wednesday), considerably lower than the national rate of 98.27 per cent.
Calcutta and its immediate neighbourhood of North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Nadia accounted for 5,165 or 83.94 per cent of the new infections on Sunday.
The state’s positive confirmation rate, which was 1.71 per cent even on Christmas, rose to 15.93 per cent. A positive confirmation rate of up to 5 per cent is considered tolerable in a pandemic situation. At the peak of the second wave last year, it had climbed to 33 per cent.
In perhaps the day’s only silver lining, 19 of the state’s 23 districts reported zero deaths. The state’s mortality rate is 1.2, while that of the nation is 1.33 per cent.
According to the Union health ministry data released on Sunday morning, Bengal has 20 omicron cases (including four recoveries). The state is 10th among states, the top three being Maharashtra (460), Delhi (351), Gujarat (136).
Bengal now has more than 16.49 lakh Covid-19 cases, since the first was logged in March last year. The total includes over 16.12 lakh recoveries and 19,781 casualties.