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Covid: 4,029 new cases and 3,382 recoveries

Bengal is now in the fifth position on the list of states with most active cases
Medics wait to collect swab samples in Calcutta.

Meghdeep Bhattacharyya   |   Calcutta   |   Published 21.10.20, 02:08 AM

Bengal on Tuesday reported a spike in Covid-19 cases by over 4,000, which took the total number of active patients past 35,000, both for the first time.

The state logged 3,382 recoveries, also the highest in a 24-hour span, and 61 deaths.

Bengal is now in the fifth position on the list of states with most active cases. The first seven states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on the list now have over 68 per cent of the active cases in the country.

Bengal alone had 4.71 per cent of India’s active cases as of Tuesday.

The state reported 4,029 new cases on Tuesday, resetting the highest 24-hour rise for the 17th time in October.

“If the Covid-19 safety protocol is adhered to by the majority of Puja revellers, we might just escape with a daily rise of 5,000 or so. If there is carelessness and disregard, daily cases of 8,000-10,000 are not out of the question. The healthcare infrastructure might not be equipped to handle the additional load from that kind of explosive surge,” said a source in the state government.

The total of novel coronavirus cases in the state went past 3.29 lakh, which include 2.87 lakh recoveries and 6,180 deaths. “Things worsened drastically over the past month, with 1.04 lakh new infections, which pushed the total of active cases from 24,000-odd to 35,170 (on Tuesday),” said a Bengal minister.

The recovery rate, which had reached a high of 87.98 on October 6, dropped to 87.43 per cent. The national rate is 88.68.

“We had been in the top five on the list of states with the highest recovery rates for months. Now, we are in the 22nd place,” said the minister.

He has said the five high-incidence districts of Calcutta, North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly are now part of the Centre’s high priority districts, nationally, for intensive Covid-19 management measures.

“These five districts added over 42,000 cases in 20 days of October alone,” he added.

Of the total 6,180 deaths reported, the city alone accounted for 2,019, with 17 till 9am. North 24-Parganas reported a total of 1,397 deaths, 13 of them on Tuesday.

The state government reported 5,223 deaths (84.5 per cent) as those with comorbidity “present”.

Bengal’s overall mortality rate is 1.87 now, still substantially behind the national rate of 1.51 per cent.

“We were out of the top 10, in the list of states with the highest mortality rates, for so long. Now, we are fourth,” said the minister.

With 43,762 tests, the total tests went past 40.78 lakh, at 45,318 tests per million people.

The positive confirmation rate is 8.07 per cent now.

The state reported 37.85 per cent occupancy on 12,751 beds earmarked for Covid-19 at 93 dedicated hospitals on Tuesday, besides 3.55 lakh telemedicine consultations for the pandemic.

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