'Covid cases in state may witness peak in July-end'
Kolkata: With the number of COVID-19 infections continuing to surge in the city, the state Health department is preparing a new road map to fight the pandemic, particularly in those areas where the rate of infection is higher.
A section of health officials apprehends that the state may witness COVID-19 cases peaking by July-end.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a high-level meeting instructed the top health officials to take all precautionary measures to check the infection rate, particularly in Kolkata. At the same time, Banerjee has also given a clear message that the mortality rate must be brought down further. The health officials have been asked to put in place adequate mechanisms and infrastructure at all the Covid hospitals and to conduct a strict surveillance in the areas where infection rate is higher.
Bengal, however, is definitely at a lower trajectory in terms of COVID-19 deaths compared to other metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai only because the state government, with instructions from the Chief Minister, acted promptly and contained the transmission of the virus to a great extent. "Bengal has seen a lower surge compared to many other states due to strong containment measures in the past few two months but now the infection rate seems to go up in the city and some of its adjoining districts as the pandemic is going to reach its peak. The mortality rate in the city is higher because of comorbidities in patients," said a public health expert and epidemiologist.
Following the Chief Minister's directives, the Health department will further step up surveillance in high-infection areas of the city and also in the districts of North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly where the rate of infection is also high. Population density in the city and the adjoining districts also contributed to the rise in the number of infected persons. Covid testing has already been scaled up following which more patients have been detected across the state.
"We are increasing the number of beds with high flow oxygen facilities in the Covid-designated hospitals. Steps have been taken to increase the beds at the Critical Care Unit (CCU) as well. The number of doctors, nurses and health workers is also being increased. Strict measures are being taken wherever the population density is high. Containment measures in overcrowded areas should be stronger," a senior health official added.