KOLKATA: The death toll due to COVID-19 in West Bengal rose to 1,678 on Sunday with record one-day jump of 49 fatalities, the health department said.
The state also reported the highest single-day spike of 2,739 fresh cases, which pushed the tally to 75,516, the department said in a bulletin.
It said that 45 of the fresh fatalities were due to comorbidities where COVID-19 was incidental.
At least 2,213 patients have recovered from the disease since Saturday, improving the discharge rate in the state to 69.83 per cent, the department said in its bulletin.
So far, 52,730 people have recovered from the disease in West Bengal and the number of active cases currently stands at 21,108.
Of the 49 fresh fatalities, Kolkata accounted for 20, the highest in the city in a day so far.
The bulletin said that 14 deaths were also reported from North 24 Parganas, seven from Howrah, two each from South 24 Parganas, Paschim Bardhaman and Malda, and one each from Paschim Medinipur and Darjeeling districts.
The city also registered 709 new cases, followed by North 24 Parganas (586), Howrah (245), Darjeeling (150), South 24 Parganas (147), Malda (99) and Hooghly (77).
The remaining 582 fresh infections were reported from 16 other districts of the state, it said.
As many as 21,072 samples have been examined for the disease in the last 24 hours, it said.
The Association of Health Service Doctors, the largest association of doctors in state-run medical facilities, on Sunday called for constituting a team of volunteers in every locality to help people as the COVID-19 situation is taking an "alarming turn".
Association General Secretary Manas Gumta said in a statement that due to "lack of proper planning by the state government on public health issue, the contagion is spreading and has triggered panic among the general public who are clueless about how to get medical treatment, where to get a bed, how to get an ambulance on their own."
"While the state health department is washing its hands off by suggesting asymptomatic or patients with lower symptoms to stay at home, it is silent on the crucial issue about their getting proper medical treatment and in case their condition worsens who will take them to the right place taking into account the stigma associated with the disease," the statement by the left leaning health service doctors' body said.
It said that many patients staying at home are finding it hard to get an ambulance at the right time.
The association said, "we call upon everyone to form a team of volunteers in each locality to come to the aid of residents facing medical emergency which can be either due to COVID-19 or even serious non covid cases which are also under serious stress."
The statement said 'ambulance raj' is prevailing in the state alluding to incidents of private ambulances charging steep fare to take COVID-19 patients or suspects to hospitals and urged people to be on guard and be in touch with the local and state administration if required.
Assuring "80 per cent of COVID-19 cases get cured by general treatment," Gumta urged people not to get panicky but take all necessary precautions.