‘Hide, Step Up Vax Drive As Cov Cases Rise’ | Kolkata News

Kolkata: The Covid chart continued to rise for the third consecutive day on Thursday as Bengal recorded 95 new cases in the past 24 hours. The positivity rate also climbed a bit, from 1% to 1.24% over four days. As health officials started holding early meetings to strategize to keep the situation under control, Bengal’s Global Covid Advisory Board (GAB) suggested the state should insist on using masks in public and reinforce the vaccination campaign.
From 53 new cases on June 6, after a gap of more than three weeks, the count rose to 61 the next day. On Wednesday, Bengal reported 85 cases and the number rose another 10 in 24 hours. The rise in the rate does not seem too alarming, but health experts fear that the upward trend will persist for the time being.
“The GAB has recommended to the state that certain measures be reinstated, including a strict masking protocol. He also recommended an increased vaccination campaign to inoculate defaulters with the second dose,” said hepatologist Abhijit Chowdhury, who is part of the GAB.
The health department’s Covid expert panel has scheduled a meeting for Monday. “During the meeting, experts will give input to counter the situation,” said GK Dhali, Gastroenterology Manager of IPGMER, health department officer on special duty for Covid.
Some laboratories pointed out that the number of tests was still low but that they had started to obtain positive results with a high viral load. A 44-year-old man who recently returned from the United States tested positive with a low CT value, indicating a high viral load. The hospital sent this particular sample for genome sequencing.
“We have started testing patients in our OPD if they have symptoms, even if they come for treatment for other conditions. Although we have found most of the negative reports, this exercise will ensure that positive cases do not escape detection,” said Pulmonologist Kausik Chaudhuri, Nodal Covid Officer at ID Government Hospital Beliaghata.
“In addition to masking, especially in crowded places outdoors and indoors with poor ventilation, we should start increasing testing by targeting at least those with symptoms. Regular genome sequencing should be able to detect any type of new variant or emerging mutant,” said microbiologist Bhaskar Narayan Chaudhuri of Peerless Hospital.

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