New daily Covid cases in Kolkata since Puja stay over 200; doctors fear further spike – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: The number of fresh Covid cases in Kolkata has constantly been above 200 since Durga Puja. Before the festival and the shopping frenzy, daily new cases had been in 100s or lower, and health experts had warned of a surge as revellers threw caution to the wind.
Though the the current rising trend in the city is not alarming yet, doctors fear a further rise in cases in about three to four weeks.

“Despite the rising cases, we are not witnessing an abrupt spike. But we are yet to see the actual reflection of the kind of congregation there was before and after the festival. We will have to wait for about seven days,” said Anirban Dalui, public health specialist at Swasthya Bhawan.
In Kolkata, cases started touching the 200-mark on October 13, which was Ashtami. Since then, the count has been above 200. From 1,591 active cases in Kolkata on October 13, the number rose to 2,087 on Wednesday.
“This spike in number was expected because people had violated all Covid rules during the festival. And with Diwali and Kali Puja ahead, we should not be surprised by a further escalation in Covid-positive numbers,” said infectious diseases control specialist Deb Kishore Gupta.
On Wednesday, Bengal reported 973 fresh cases, of which 273 were from Kolkata. North 24 Parganas, which had been the epicentre along with Kolkata during the second surge, reported 159 cases. Although the overall positivity rate for the state is still below 2%, a recent sero surveillance report by the health department revealed positivity higher than 3% is four districts.
“For districts, we could start seeing a sharper spike post events like Kali Puja and Jagaddhatri Puja due to mixing of people where the vaccinated number is lower than in the city,” said Dalui.
The health department had, however, kept up its inoculation drive even during the festival.
“We must adopt all Covid-appropriate behaviour even if we have received the vaccine as there is still a population at risk, especially the elderly and children who are yet to be vaccinated,” said Gupta.
Healthcare experts hope the vaccine coverage will act as a shield against a sharp surge like the one during the second wave.
“We are keeping all our Covid infrastructure ready as we might encounter a further rise not only in the city, but in some districts as well,” said a senior health department official.