The Central government has written to the West Bengal government asking it to take note of the rising cases of Covid in Kolkata, and immediately undertake a review of cases and deaths following Durga Puja celebrations.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan flagged an increase in case numbers in Kolkata, as well as a rise in test positivity rate and dip in test numbers in a letter dated on October 22 to Narayan Swaroop Nigam, Health Secretary of West Bengal government.
“The district has reported high quantum of average daily new cases in the week ending 21 October along with more than 25 per cent increase over the past week (from 217 cases in the week ending 14 October to 271 cases in the week ending 21 October)… The district has also reported almost 27 per cent increase in positivity rate in the past week (from 5.6 per cent in the week ending 14 October to 7.1 per cent in the week ending 21 October). The weekly testing trends in this district are also showing a downward trend. This calls for more proactive action on the testing front,” read the letter.
The health secretary said there is a possibility of cases rising exponentially if the basic public health strategy of testing, tracking, treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour, and vaccination is not followed rigorously.
“With the ongoing festive season it is crucial to emphasise the importance of Covid-safe festivities in order to maintain the collective gains made in the battle against the pandemic so far. The state must ensure strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour and focus on 2nd-dose coverage of all eligible beneficiaries,” Bhushan wrote.
While India since last few weeks has been reporting quite a few cases of COVID-19, West Bengal after the celebrations of Durga Puja has seen a sudden spike in coronavirus cases.
Covid-19 numbers began rising in the state after the recently concluded Bhabanipur bypolls and Durga Puja celebrations.
West Bengal has reported 20,936 cases and 343 deaths in the last 30 days, accounting for 3.4 per cent of India’s new cases and 4.7 per cent of deaths in the same period. However, the central government’s letter pertains only to Kolkata.