Covid-19 cases shoot up nearly 10 ten times in Kolkata in five days | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Covid-19 cases shoot up nearly 10 ten times in Kolkata in five days

Dec 31, 2021 11:41 PM IST

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has already said that her government may reintroduce containment zones in Kolkata from January 3 to check the spread of the virus, while the civic body will reopen the safe homes which were closed down when cases had dipped.

The daily count of Covid-19 cases in Kolkata has shot up by almost 10 times in the past five days.

Kolkata Police personnel make a public announcement amid the rise of Covid-19 cases as people throng to the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall on the last day of 2021 in Kolkata on Friday. (HT PHOTO.)
Kolkata Police personnel make a public announcement amid the rise of Covid-19 cases as people throng to the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall on the last day of 2021 in Kolkata on Friday. (HT PHOTO.)

The city reported 204 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, but the number of such cases shot up to 1954 on Friday. It has almost doubled in the last 24 hours. On Thursday, the daily count was 1090.

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“Cases have shot up in Kolkata several times. Around 80% of the cases that have been reported are asymptomatic, while another 17% have symptoms such as fever and cough and cold. They are under home isolation. Only three per cent of the cases need to be hospitalized,” said Firhad Hakim, mayor of Kolkata.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has already said that her government may reintroduce containment zones in Kolkata from January 3 to check the spread of the virus, while the civic body will reopen the safe homes which were closed down when cases had dipped.

“Buildings and premises from where four to five new cases are being reported would be declared as containment zones. We are also reopening the safe homes to isolate people,” the mayor added.

West Bengal may witness community transmission of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the coming weeks and the daily count of Covid-19 cases may hit 30,000– 35,000 when the peak of the third wave hits, doctors of the state health department have already warned after a high-level meeting held on Wednesday.

Across the state the daily count shot up from 439 on Monday to 3451 on Friday. On Thursday, the state had reported 2128 new cases. Till date, 16 cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the Coronavirus have been detected in West Bengal.

But even as cases have shot up alarmingly, the number of RT-PCR tests on a daily basis is yet to be scaled up accordingly. While on Monday only around 17000 samples were tested, on Friday around 40000 samples were tested.

“Private laboratories have ramped up their testing; and the state health department has directed government laboratories to scale up too. Hospitals too have been asked to scale up their facilities,” said a senior doctor of the state health department.

On Thursday, the state government suspended direct flights from UK to Kolkata. The government may even close down schools and colleges if the numbers continue to rise.

The state government has, however, relaxed the night curfew (11pm – 5 am) from December 24, 2021 to January 1, 2022 in view of Christmas and New Year celebrations. Videos and pictures of thousands of people gathering on Park Street in Kolkata went viral on Christmas, with doctors apprehending that this could spread the Covid-19 infection further.

But even as cases shoot up the state government is gearing up for the Ganga Sagar mela, which is scheduled take off from January 14. Millions of pilgrims from across India will take the holy dip at the confluence of the River Ganges and Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on January 15.

“We cannot stop any pilgrim from coming to the Ganga Sagar mela,” Banerjee had said.

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