Minister Tapas Roy among new Covid patients
Bengal minister of state for parliamentary affairs Tapas Roy tested positive for the novel coronavirus late on Thursday night and got admitted to hospital, while his family went on home-isolation.
The state reported 3,310 new Covid-19 cases, 53 deaths and 2,944 recoveries on Friday.
Roy, 64, is the Baranagar MLA and a key leader of the Trinamul Congress in Calcutta.
He is the sixth member of the Mamata Banerjee cabinet to get infected with the pathogen. Transport and irrigation minister Suvendu Adhikari, food and supplies minister Jyotipriya Mullick, fire and emergency services minister Sujit Bose, minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises Swapan Debnath and public health engineering minister Soumen Mahapatra had contracted the disease earlier.
“Tapas is doing alright. He is, more or less, asymptomatic. His hospitalisation was a precautionary measure,” said a cabinet colleague.
Around 30 sitting members of the Bengal Assembly, half from the ruling party, have been infected by the novel coronavirus.
So far, four Bengal MPs have tested positive. They are the BJP’s Hooghly MP Locket Chatterjee, Balurghat MP Sukanta Majumdar, Jalpaiguri MP Jayanta Roy and Trinamul’s Rajya Sabha member Shanta Chhetri .
The virus has also claimed the lives of CPM veteran Shyamal Chakraborty, besides Trinamul’s Egra MLA Samaresh Das, Falta MLA Tamonash Ghosh and Indas MLA Gurupada Mete.
With the 3,310 new patients, the state’s total case count went past 2.63 lakh, of which over 2.31 lakh are recoveries and 5,070 deaths.
The recovery rate continued to rise and reached 87.89, ahead of the national rate of 83.65 per cent.
Of the 59 fatalities, 16 occurred in the city and 11 in North 24-Parganas.
As of Friday, the state government reported 4,310 deaths (85 per cent) as those with comorbidity “present”.
Bengal’s overall mortality rate remained 1.92, behind the national rate of 1.56 per cent.
The state logged 43,282 tests on Friday, which took the total past 33 lakh, to touch 33.14 lakh, at 36,829 tests per million people.
“We began testing in early February and took over three-and-a-half months to cover the first lakh. Over the following four-and-a-half months, we conducted over 32 lakh tests. Even a month ago, we were at 20 lakh,” said a minister.
The positive confirmation rate fell further to 7.95 per cent.
The state reported 37.02 per cent occupancy on 12,715 Covid-19 beds at 92 hospitals.
Over 2.83 lakh telemedicine consultations have been provided, 4,128 of them in the past 24 hours.