Single-day Covid cases in Bengal touch 21,098

Single-day Covid cases in Bengal touch 21,098

Kolkata: Two Omicron positive cases were reported in the city on Tuesday taking the total tally to 22 so far. Both the patients who had returned from France a few weeks ago were undergoing treatment at a private hospital. Their sample reports came positive on Monday. When they were being taken to Beliaghata ID Hospital, both of them went in home isolation. The state Health department has, however, been keeping a tab on them.

Single-day Covid cases in Bengal jumped to 21,098 on Tuesday from 19,286 on Monday. Despite the daily Covid cases crossing 20,000 marks in Bengal on an average basis, the hospital admission rate has been around 5.28 percent, which is much lower compared to what was recorded during the last wave.

The positivity rate, however, dropped to 32.35 percent on Tuesday from what was registered at 37 percent on Monday. The positivity rate in the state had touched 33.89 percent on Sunday.

Meanwhile, India logged 1,68,063 new infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,58,75,790 which includes 4,461 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health ministry data updated on Tuesday.

The active cases rose to 8,21,446, the highest in 208 days, while the death toll climbed to 4,84,213 with 277 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.

India's Covid vaccination coverage crossed 153.7 crore on Tuesday with 76,68,282 vaccine doses being administered till 7 pm, the Union Health ministry said.

More than 18 lakh (18,52,611) precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities since Monday. Over 2,81,00,780 doses have been given to beneficiaries in the 15-18 years age group so far.

Meanwhile, renowned author Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay tested positive for Covid and has been undergoing treatment in home isolation. The total number of infected cases in Bengal has so far gone up to 17,95,430 on Tuesday out of which 16,73,258 patients have been released from hospitals after recovery.

The number of Covid fatalities, however, jumped to 19 on Tuesday from 16 on Monday. Various government hospitals and medical colleges have seen a dip in footfall at Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) by nearly 30 percent since December last week due to a steep rise in Covid cases.

Meanwhile, the number of containment zones in Kolkata dropped to 29 from 46 with some new flats, apartments and standalone buildings particularly in the added areas of the city being included. Mayor Firhad Hakim said on Tuesday that KMC is planning to introduce a token system for booster or precautionary doses in the city to avoid gatherings at the vaccination centres.

Incidentally, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has instructed hotel and guest house authorities of Salt Lake not to allow any boarder without a double vaccine certificate or RT-PCR test report conducted within the last 72 hours.

According to a BMC official, on Tuesday a meeting was arranged in presence of the representatives of local market committees, hotel and guest house authorities along with police during which BMC officials informed them to sanitise their respective premises regularly. For the markets, the civic body has offered to sanitise the individual shops as well if the owners wished to.

The Omicron variant is "almost unstoppable" and everyone will eventually be infected with it, a top government expert told NDTV.

He claimed that reported infection numbers are "nowhere close to the truth" as actual numbers could be up to 90 times more than reported for Omicron infections.

Stressing that Covid is "not a frightening disease anymore" as the new strain is milder and is leading to much less hospitalisation, he said that it's a disease we can deal with. ''... we are dealing with quite a different virus. It's much milder than Delta, as you all know, not only that, it is practically unstoppable,'' he said, adding that Omicron presents itself just like the cold.

"A majority of us will not know we have been infected, probably more than 80 percent will not even know when we have it," said Dr Jaiprakash Muliyil, epidemiologist and chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research.

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