In the last 24 hours, India registered 14,306 new Covid-19 cases and 443 deaths, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. The new fatalities have increased the death toll to 4,54,712.
The recovery of 18,762 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally to 3,35,67,367. Consequently, India's recovery rate stands at 98.18 per cent, currently at its highest peak since March 2020.
The active caseload stands at 1,67,695, which is the lowest in 239 days. Active cases presently constitute 0.49 per cent of the country's total positive cases, the lowest since March 2020. Also in the same period, a total of 9,98,397 tests were conducted across the country. India has so far conducted over 60.07 crore cumulative tests.
Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate at 1.24 per cent has remained less than 2 per cent for the last 31 days now. The daily positivity rate stands at 1.43 per cent, which has also remained below 2 per cent for the last 21 days and less than 3 per cent for 56 consecutive days now.
With the administration of 12,30,720 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India's Covid inoculation coverage has reached 102.27 crores as of Monday morning, This has been achieved through 1,01,52,393 sessions.
Coronavirus cases on the rise in West Bengal
With the Covid cases hovering around 1,000 for the last three days and the positivity rate touching nearly 3 per cent, West Bengal seems to be moving in the opposite direction from the rest of India. Thanks to unchecked gathering during the pujas, when the infection rate in other parts of the country is showing signs of slowing down, cases are on the rise in the state.
A small example will help us understand the situation better. Covid beds in most of the premiere private hospitals in the city are either occupied or are nearly full. Belle View Nursing Home - one of the premiere nursing homes in the city has 47 beds of which 23 are already occupied.
Before the pujas the number of occupancy was just 10. Similarly, Calcutta Medical Research Institute has all its 38 beds full and Peerless hospital has 40 occupied out of 40 beds. In ILS multi-speciality hospital, 27 Covid beds out of the total 38 are occupied and the administration expects that the rest of the beds will be full soon.
Experts have already warned that West Bengal will see a spike in the coming weeks as Covid-19 norms have been largely flouted during the recent Durga Puja celebrations and the result is on the table. When the daily infection rate in Kolkata before the pujas was hovering around 600, on Saturday it hit 974 - the highest daily infection after July 21 when the statistic was 869.
Not only in Kolkata but the infection rate in the districts is also showing an upward curve. According to an official of the state health department, the positivity rate in Cooch Behar is 8.7 per cent, in East Medinipur it is around 5 per cent, in Nadia it is 4.2 per cent and in Howrah and Hooghly it is hovering around 2 to 2.5 per cent when before the pujas it was just above one per cent.
Micro Containment Zones
Considering the rising cases of Covid in the state particularly in areas in and around Kolkata like in districts like Howrah, Hooghly and North and South 24 Parganas the state has already announced micro-containment zones in several areas of Howrah, Hooghly and North 24 Parganas.
Chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi held a virtual meeting with all the district magistrates and asked them to keep a strict watch on the Covid cases in districts. They have also been asked to impose 'containment zones' in areas where the rate is high.
"There was all-round laxity during Durga Puja, which is likely to push the situation out of bounds unless we immediately re-impose strict Covid-19 norms within people and increase the rate of testing and vaccination in the state," a senior physician in the state and one of the members of the global advisory committee created by the state government said.