West Bengal: Covid-19: Kolkata’s positivity rate jumps to over 17%

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The capital of West Bengal recorded a Covid-19 positivity rate of 17.88% from December 24 to 31, the highest of any district in the country during the period, according to data from the Ministry of Health and family well-being.

The neighboring district of Howrah in Kolkata also recorded a high positivity rate of 7.45%, even as the number of daily Covid cases in the state jumped nearly eight times in four days, from 3,451 Friday to 439 Monday. West Bengal has also reported 16 cases of Omicron so far.

According to ministry data, Kolkata was followed by Lunglei (16.87%), Mizoram, Serchhip (15.82%) and Mamit (14.98%) and Namsai districts of Arunchal Pradesh (13, 64) in the rate of Covid positivity.

“Kolkata’s positivity rate is increasing and changing daily,” said Ajay Chakraborty, chief medical officer of West Bengal. “We have to alert people and insist on observing appropriate behaviors for Covid, including wearing masks… we have to take every precaution to limit the spread. We are also trying to increase testing to detect more cases, in order to be able to isolate them and prevent further spread, ”Chakraborty told ET.

Five international travelers tested positive for the Omicron variant on Thursday, bringing the total number of people infected with the new variant of the virus to 16.

Experts believe that the celebration of Christmas and the inappropriate behavior of people in the face of Covid has led to a sudden daily increase in cases.

Covid positivity rates in Kolkata and the adjacent 24 north of Parganas and Nadia had crossed 30% in the second wave in mid-May.

Meanwhile, the union health secretary wrote a letter to the West Bengal government, urging the state to take action following the high number of cases in Kolkata. There is an immediate need to impose restrictions on Bengal to control the situation, he said.

Citing an internal survey, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) mayor Firhad Hakim said 17% of those infected were symptomatic and only 3% needed hospitalization.

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