Kolkata: The COVID-19 tally in West Bengal rose to 2,98,389 after 3,583 people tested positive for the disease Monday. Sixty more fatalities pushed the toll in the state to 5,682 said a health department bulletin. It also said that 3,155 people recovered from the disease since Sunday. The discharge rate currently stands at 87.84 per cent, the bulletin said. West Bengal currently has 30,604 active cases. So far 40,056 samples have been tested in the state over the last 24 hours, the bulletin added.
It should be stated here that the West Bengal government is apprehending a surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks. This is because of the upcoming of Durga Puja festival. The West Bengal Cabinet decided Monday to increase the bed strength in government hospitals by 50 per cent. Also it has decided to bring down the charge for coronavirus tests in private health establishments.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has cautioned the people about the possible surge of COVID-19. She has asked them to adhere strictly to the health protocol. But it is quite clear that people are already throwing caution to the winds as Durga Puja draws near.
“Keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Bengal government has decided to increase its dedicated, free government ICU and HDG beds by 600 before Durga Puja. We have decided to bring down the charge for COVID-19 tests by private esatblishments from Rs 2,250 to Rs 1,500. This is a gift from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in this Durga Puja festival,” Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay told reporters.
The five-day festival will begin from October 22.
“Currently, there are 1,247 dedicated COVID-19 beds in state-run hospitals. After the enhancement, there will be over 1,800 beds to treat patients afflicted by the disease, Bandyopadhyay said.