By Sudipto Chowdhury Kolkata, Jan 3 (PTI) Bengal and eastern India’s largest metropolis Kolkata, is in the throes of a third wave of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which may last well into February with a peak sometime in the second week of this month , according to health experts.
They held the lack of vision on the part of the state administration in allowing large congregations and festivities as well as Covid fatigue and complacency on the part of people for the current surge of Covid-19 cases here.
“If you see the surge in the last five days, it’s evident that the third wave is already here in West Bengal. It’s also there in other metros like New Delhi and Mumbai. Cases in our state, especially in Kolkata have gone up by 12 fold. Every third person coming for a test is testing positive for the disease, “Dr Anima Halder principal of state-run Infectious Diseases and Beliaghata General (ID&BG) Hospital told PTI.
West Bengal like the rest of the country witnessed its first wave in March 2020 and another after elections to the state assembly in May-June last year.
Dr Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, Associate Professor of Burdwan Medical College, who has been handling COVID cases since the outbreak of the pandemic, said “The infections that we see at the moment is not a result of the congregation we witnessed on December 24-25 and and on New Year’s eve, that will come in the next few days.” “As of now, going by the last few weeks’ happenings, it seems that the graph will continue to rise,” he added.
Dr Bandyopadhyay however also said that if the ongoing restrictions are continued, a flattening of the curve “may soon be seen.” “We were very well placed even in the first two weeks of December,” but the complacent attitude of common people which was compounded by a lack of vision on the part of the authorities saw the situation deteriorating, he said.
” We saw policemen pleading with people to wear masks. That’s shocking. A stricter approach could have saved us from this,” Dr Bandyopadhyay told PTI.
Internal projections by the health department indicate that there are fears that the daily infections rate could rise to 30,000 unless strict steps are taken.
West Bengal which reported upwards of 6,000 Covid infections daily for the last two days, has already taken a variety of steps to enforce Covid norms and asked offices to work at 50 per cent capacity.
Kolkata which accounted for nearly half of the daily Covid cases has come up with micro-containment zones and has set up safe houses for those patients who do have sufficient space at home to self-isolate or do have care-givers.
Dr Shanta Dutta, director of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, at Beliaghata also said “definitely, an epidemic outbreak that has started … study showed that in our state, every third person taking the Covid test is positive.” The NICED director also held the irresponsible attitude of the common people and laxity on the part of the government as causes for the rise in the number of infections.
Dr Koushik Chaki, a founding member of the West Bengal Doctors’ Forum told PTI, “This third wave was inevitable going by our irresponsible attitude of the people as well as the administration.” West Bengal has witnessed a massive surge in its Covid-19 daily infection since December 28. According to the state health department, the positivity rate rose to 19.59 per cent on Monday from December 28’s. 2.35 per cent.
The number of active cases currently is 20,186, at least 12,729 more than what was reported on December 28. PTI SCH JRC JRC
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