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Despite Bengal COVID-19 tally breaching 10,000 mark, Mamata government in no hurry to increase beds

Questioning the decision, health department officials feel keeping Bengal ‘ready for worst’ is the need of the hour.

Published: 15th June 2020 02:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2020 10:47 AM   |  A+A-

A tram conductor wearing a protective suit takes tickets from passengers after the authorities permitted to resume tram services with certain restrictions during the fifth phase of COVID-19 nationwide lockdown in Kolkata Sunday June 14 2020. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

KOLKATA: Allhough the total number of positive cases reached 10,000-mark, the West Bengal government’s decision not to rush to increase beds for Covid-19 patients rightaway as most of the migrant returnees are recovering fast prompted health department officials to raise questions on its strategy.

Questioning the decision, health department officials feel keeping Bengal ‘ready for worst’ is the need of the hour.

“We don’t know how many Covid-19 positive but asymptomatic returnees have been allowed home quarantine. The situation could change within a week or two,’’ said an official.

According to health department official, West Bengal has 8,785 beds designated for Covid-19 patients of which 20 per cent are occupied. Out of more than 5,500 present positive cases, around 3,000 are migrant workers.

“Less than 1 per cent migrant workers develop acute symptoms that need life support. This is much better than the national average. In the country, 2.55 per cent of active cases are in intensive care units, 1.96 per cent on oxygen support and 0.48 per cent on ventilators,’’ said the official.

Twelve more persons died of COVID-19 in the state on Sunday, taking the death toll due to the disease to 475 in the state, a health department bulletin said.

Eleven of the 12 deaths were because of "comorbidities, where COVID-19 was incidental", it added.

West Bengal registered 389 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the infection tally to 11,087 in the state, the bulletin said.

The number of active cases is 5,552.

Of the 12 deaths, six were from Kolkata and one each was from South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Nadia, Paschim Medinipur and Darjeeling, the bulletin said.

A total of 518 people have recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the number of recovered people in the state to 5,060.

Since Saturday, 9,026 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in West Bengal, the bulletin said.

Of the 389 new COVID-19 cases, Kolkata reported 158 cases, North 24 Parganas (70), Howrah (40), South 24 Parganas (19), Purba Medinipur (12), Birbhum (9), Nadia (8), Hooghly (6) and four each from Paschim Burdwan and Murshidabad, it said.

In north Bengal, new cases were reported from Jalpaiguri (27), Malda (10), Darjeeling (9), Kalimpong (5), Uttar Dinajpur (4), one each in Cooch Behar and Alipurduar districts, the bulletin added.

(With PTI Inputs)

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