Bengal Cases Double, Officials Blame Covid Rule Break During Durga Puja

Kolkata, which appears to be paying the price of puja shopping and pandal hopping, reported 242 new Covid infections this Friday. Last Friday, it was 127. Of these, 150 were fully vaccinated while 15 had the first dose.

The officials are attributing the spike to lack of safety protocols during Durga puja,

Kolkata:

The COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in Kolkata since the end of Durga Puja festivities and now the graph is rising so sharply, safe houses and quarantine centres in the city will be reopened on Monday for patients who need to isolate.

Kolkata, which appears to be paying the price of puja shopping and pandal hopping, reported 242 new Covid infections this Friday. Last Friday, it was 127. Of these, 150 were fully vaccinated while 15 had the first dose.

The officials are attributing the spike to lack of safety protocols followed by people during Durga puja festivities last week.

"All health department workers leave was cancelled after we saw large numbers of people out on the streets to enjoy Durga Puja. Many of them did not wear masks. We are watching the situation as the incubation period of their infection is not over yet," said Atin Ghosh, the Health in charge of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

What sets the alarm bells ringing is the fact that most (200) of the new infections are asymptomatic which would mean such people could be going around spreading the virus, say civic authorities.

Not just Kolkata, numbers are rising across Bengal and authorities are waiting apprehensively for the next week when the full picture of the spike should emerge. Up from 451 to 833 in seven days, the numbers of daily infection in the state are alarming too.

Dr Raja Dhar of CMRI hospital in Kolkata, says the numbers will rise over the next week or so and what hospitals should look out for is the severity of the infection.

"If we find that over a period of time the number of cases is rising but the cases are mild, then we may have herd immunity. On the other hand, if hospital admissions and mortality rise, then we go back to the first and second phase, may be not as bad," he said.

Meanwhile, the night curfew on traffic from 11 pm to 5 am, that had been lifted for the Durga Pujas, is back.

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