'69.2% children & 81% adults infected are Omicron +ve'

Kolkata: Around 69.2 per cent of the total number of children, who are being found Covid positive in Bengal have been infected with the Omicron variant, suggests a report prepared by the state Health department.

It further adds that around 81 per cent of the total Covid-infected people among the general population have now been found Omicron positive after being doubly jabbed. This has again raised several questions among the cross-sections of people whether the Omicron variant can evade immune protection conferred by the Covid vaccines.

A section of researchers had earlier pointed out that fully vaccinated people can be infected with the Omicron variant in large numbers compared to those who had contracted the earlier variants. The Health department's report took many by surprise.

The report has been prepared based on data provided to the state government by the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in Kalyani, the only centre in the state where genome sequencing is being done. Genome sequencing confirms if someone is infected with the Omicron variant.

The revelation comes on a day when the state registered 18,802 new Covid cases. The positivity rate went up to 29.60 per cent.

State Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Bose tested positive for the second time. Many other film personalities like Rituparna Sengupta, Ridhhi Sen, Sreelekha Mitra, actor-turned-politician and TMC MLA Soham Chakraborty have also tested positive.

One of the biggest festivals on folk songs, Joydev Mela in Birbhum has been cancelled for this year due to the rising number of Covid cases. The district administrations have, however, decided to allow 'holy dip' in the Ajay River maintaining all Covid protocol. With the number of daily Covid cases mounting and many police personnel falling victim to the infection, the Kolkata Police have suspended breathalyzer tests.

In another development, over 1000 officials of Eastern Railway (including Howrah, Malda, Sealdah and Asansol divisions) have been affected by Covid. Kolkata Municipal Corporation has, meanwhile, closed down its birth and death certificate department on Saturday after many officials got infected. Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim is, however, optimistic that the birth and death certificate department will resume services on Tuesday.

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