KOLKATA: West Bengal reported 11 more COVID-19 deaths on Friday, taking the toll to 294 while the state also registered its highest single-day spike in cases with 427 new patients, pushing the virus count to 7,303, a health department bulletin said.
The number of active cases rose to 4,025, it said.
Of the 11 deaths, four each were from Kolkata and its twin city Howrah while two were reported from North 24 Parganas district and one from Hooghly, the bulletin said.
There were deaths of 72 other patients due to comorbidities where COVID-19 was "incidental", it maintained.
Kolkata accounted for the highest number of fresh cases (101), followed by North 24 Parganas (65), Howrah (62), Hooghly (44), Malda (34), North Dinajpur (29), Darjeeling (17), West Midnapore (13) and South 24 Parganas (12), the bulletin said.
Nine cases each were reported in Bankura and East Burdwan, eight in Nadia, six in East Midnapore and Birbhum, four in Murshidabad, three in South Dinajpur, two in Kalimpong and one each in West Burdwan and Coochbehar districts, it said, adding one patient is from outside the state.
As many as 464 new cases have been reported in Kolkata since June 1, even as the government is planning to ease lockdown norms.
"The rise in the number of cases can be attributed to the return of people from other states and the increase in the number of tests," a state health department official said.
In the last 24 hours, 9,686 samples have been tested, the bulletin said.
At least 144 people were discharged from different hospitals since Thursday evening after getting cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 2,912, it added.
The Bengal health department on Friday said it has decided to allow relatives of a person who died due to coronavirus infection to see the body after following certain protocols.
According to the protocol, family members of coronavirus victims are not handed over the bodies and also not allowed to see it.
"Relatives of a person who died of COVID-19 will be allowed to see the body from a distance. The bag in which the body will be placed will be made of a transparent material so that family members can see it," the official said.
However, in the changed norm also, relatives will not get the body and the last rites will be performed by local civic authorities, he said, adding that the new system will begin soon.
The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the state government to file a report on allegations that bodies of patients who succumbed to COVID-19 were not cremated or buried in a respectful manner.
The health department official said a decision was also taken that the audit committee, formed by the state government to ascertain the actual reason behind the death of a coronavirus patient, would now visit different COVID hospitals to conduct a survey on treatment of patients admitted there.