With regular uptick in Covid-19 cases, the third wave of the pandemic is all set to hit Bengal within a week, fear senior officials at Swasthya Bhavan, headquarters of the state health department at Salt Lake.
While assessing the novel coronavirus pandemic along with its new variant Omicron that has already affected 11 people in the city and other districts, the officials requesting anonymity today sounded an alert saying, “The situation is so alarming that around 30,000 to 35,000 people may be affected with Covid-19 every day during the third wave in the state.”
In the last 24 hours, the fresh Covid infections in the state have crossed the 1,000 mark – for the first time in the last 177 days. According to data available, of the total 1,089 cases, 540 were detected in Kolkata, 145 in North 24 Parganas, 79 in South 24-Parganas and 60 in Howrah in the last 24 hours. The health department headed by the chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee has also expressed concern over the rerun of community transmissions of Covid-19 infections this time.
During the second wave in April-May there had been massive community transmissions of the virus affecting 20,000 to 25,000 people daily across the state. The cases of five out of the 11 Omicron positive persons have triggered alarm over community transmissions of the new Covid-19 variant. A senior official in the state public health section at Swasthya Bhavan noted that the five persons who had contracted Omicron variant had no history of foreign travel.
The Union health ministry has also today pressed the alarm button and said that the Covid-19 positivity rate in Kolkata is very high, at 12.5 per cent. Kolkata is one of eight districts where the positivity rate is alarming, the ministry claimed in Delhi.
The health ministry has also directed the state government to take adequate measures like setting up of safe homes, quarantine centres, maximum Covid confirmatory test facilities, stock of medicines and oxygen supply.