Covid cases in bengal

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75 times increase in Covid cases in Bengal post election announcement

Bengal’s surge in covid cases due to mask-less election rallies, says the experts

Wednesday, 28th April 2021

Regular covid infections have increased about 75 times in the State of West Bengal since the announcement of Assembly Elections came from the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the 26th of February. This has prompted the health experts to connect the covid case surge in the state to the political rallies which were mostly mask-less and had violated the Covid protocols in many ways.

On this Tuesday, West Bengal recorded about 16,403 new covid cases that have increased from 216 cases on the 26th of February. Also, the rate of covid positivity, i.e. the proportion of the people who tested positive to the proportion of those who had tested themselves generally – has increased from 1% to about 30% during this time span. This indicates that nearly every third individual tested was found to be covid positive in the state.


The total number of active covid cases in West Bengal also went beyond 100,000 on this Tuesday. It stood at 3,343 on the 26th of February. The total number of covid-triggered deaths on this Tuesday stood at 73, a record, propelling the death toll to about 11,082.


Health experts held the mass gatherings at the poll rallies responsible for this massive rise in the Covid cases.


“All safety protocols had taken a back seat at the election campaigns resulting in a faster spread of the virus in the state. The ECI should have wrapped up the poll process at the earliest. The lengthier the election process the higher would be the toll. We need all hands on deck to fight the crisis,” said Manas Gumta, State Association of Health Service Doctors’ General Secretary.


On this Monday, a conjecture came from the Madras high court stating that the ECI has actually triggered the second wave of the covid pandemic in India. The previous week, even the Calcutta high court, had given vent to their dissatisfaction regarding the measures undertaken by the election panel to implement the safety norms with regard to Covid-19 in the matter of campaigning.

Also Read: Updates of the 6th Phase of Assembly Elections in the State of West Bengal


On the 16th of April, the ECI imposed a ban on the political campaigns in the nighttime and also increased the campaign silent period from the span of 48 hours to the span of 72 hours. On the 22nd of April, the ECI imposed a restriction on the gatherings at the road shows and on the limited rallies to about 500 people and not more. The Campaigning for the State Assembly Election’s eight-phases came to a halt on this Monday.


The state capital of Kolkata recorded the highest number of covid cases standing at 3708 on Tuesday. Also, Kolkata along with the surrounding three districts, namely, South 24 parganas, North 24 parganas and the Howrah district accounted for over 50% of the fresh caseload in the state, said WHEN. On Tuesday about 55,287 collected samples were examined, which was far more than 20,084 tested samples on the 26th of February.


“We need to ramp up testing. Cases have shot up alarmingly, but we have not been able to ramp up the testing proportionately. When cases had dropped, we did little to augment the infrastructure knowing well that the second wave would come,” remarked Pratip Kumar Kundu, Ex-head; School of Tropical Medicine.


The rate of availability of Hospital beds in the Capital City’s state-run as well as private hospitals are dropping rapidly.

Lesser than 1500 hospital beds were empty in city’s private as well as state-driven hospitals on this Monday, as per the stats available from the health department of the state.


“The rush in Kolkata is more than the districts. While state run-hospitals are 80% occupied, across the state the occupancy rate is around 55%. We are augmenting the infrastructure not only in state run hospitals but also in private hospitals,” stated a senior official from the state health department.


With hospital beds, medicine stocks and oxygen resources dwindling speedily, the state of West Bengal has very recently published its guidelines for rigid rationing.


“Due to the high case load, we need to decongest the hospitals and more importantly the CCU and HDU beds. For this detailed guideline have been brought on which patients could be kept in HDU and CCU beds and who could be referred to isolation centres from hospitals depending on the severity. Also guidelines have been brought out in use of oxygen and Remdesivir,” stated another official from the health department.


The News Talkie Bureau



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