Between August 1 and 14, the number of positive cases and deaths across the state, including Kolkata, were 40,170 and 738, respectively. In the first two weeks this month, the numbers climbed up to 43,136 cases and 771 deaths – a marginal rise of about 7% and 4%, respectively.
In contrast, positive cases and deaths in Kolkata during the first two weeks of September have come down to 6,984 and 199 against last month’s 9,446 and 276 – a drop of around 26% and 28% – respectively.
“There could be three reasons for this drop in numbers in Kolkata. Fewer people going for tests as most asymptomatic patients are avoiding confirmatory tests. Secondly, the number of cases is now genuinely less and third, those recovered from the infection are acting as a barrier from transmitting the infection,” said Debkishore Gupta, infectious diseases control specialist attached with CMRI.
Even as Kolkata was recording daily cases in the 700s and 600s in early-August, the number started dropping towards the month-end. This month, daily cases have not touched the 600 mark on a single day, hovering between 500s and 300s.
“We need to see this decline keeping R0 (R naught) on the backdrop, which is currently decreasing. This is a good sign. But we need this trend to persist for a week to 10 days to conclude that we are actually going downhill,” said Sumon Poddar, assistant professor at Institute of Child Health.
R0 denotes the number of people an infected person can infect according to a mathematical model.
There has been a constant rise, though marginal, in the number of cumulative daily cases for the state. Experts said that this was due to the ramped up tests. “Kolkata is ahead of the rest of Bengal. The city was the first to face the worst surge. It will be the same trend in case of declining numbers,” added Poddar. Currently, North 24 Parganas has the highest number of active cases (4,409) while Kolkata has 4216 active cases.