Covid-19: Post-Puja week spike lower than last year’s in Kolkata – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: The post-festival Covid case spike has been smaller this year compared to last year during the week following the Pujas. Vaccination and herd immunity have combined to keep the numbers down this time, said experts. Asymptomatic cases, however, could proliferate over the next few weeks, they warned.
In the week after the festival, Kolkata has seen 1,382 Covid cases and 19 deaths. In 2020, the post-Puja week had witnessed 7,133 new Covid cases and 122 deaths in Kolkata.
Last year, 3.4 lakh samples were tested across Bengal in the week after the Pujas while this year, 2.1 lakh samples have been tested during the corresponding week.
It had taken over two months after the festivities last year for the Covid spike to taper off.
This year, however, 28.3 lakh people are completely vaccinated and another 47.4 lakh have received their first dose in Kolkata. In Bengal, over seven crore people have received at least one vaccine shot, while around 1.9 crore are fully vaccinated.
The effects of the festive gatherings will probably be evident in another week’s time when numbers could rise more sharply, felt CMRI Hospital director of pulmonology Raja Dhar. “But this time we will have a lot more asymptomatic cases due to vaccination and herd immunity which will keep the number of cases down. There have been numerous cases of asymptomatic patients testing positive in mandatory Covid tests prior to surgeries in the last few weeks. Those getting tested for travel, too, have been found to be positive without symptoms. Even if the numbers keep climbing this year, moderate to severe cases will be fewer,” added Dhar.
Vaccination has played a significant role in preventing a spread, said Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education & Research (IPGMER) professor Diptendra Sarkar. “The lower number this post-Puja week reflects a drop in symptomatic cases. We have managed to vaccinate around 60% of the eligible population in Bengal and the results are evident. Since the second wave, mutations, too, have not been active that has prevented severe infections. So, this year we will see a lot more mild cases that will remain undetected,” said Sarkar.
Last year on Dashami, Bengal’s Covid case load was 3,53,822 with 37,190 active cases. Kolkata had 76,808 Covid cases with 7,253 active cases. The positivity rate in Bengal was around 8.1% and the fatality rate was 1.8%. A week later, on November 3, Covid cases spiked sharply in Bengal to 3,85,589 and to 83,941 in Kolkata.
This year on Dashami, Bengal’s total Covid cases stood at 15,79,463 and Kolkata’s cases were 3,18,775. Bengal’s positivity rate is 2.1% and fatality rate is 1.2%. After a week, on Friday, Bengal’s Covid case load touched 15,84,492 and Kolkata’s, 3,20,157.