A continuous dip in the number of new Covid- 19 infections in the last fortnight in Malda has left the district administration hopeful, while, however, not letting its guard down.

According to officials, they should still tread with caution and follow all the guidelines issued by the government in fighting the pandemic, as they say any negligence may lead to the situation changing in no time. For the past several days, the number of daily cases of Covid-19 has remained below the 50 mark. Only 16 new cases were detected out of the 347 samples tested at the VRDL in the Malda Medical College and Hospital (MMCH) last night. The state health bulletin today showed only 260 active cases in the district.

Officials are happy about the dip, especially at a time when people in Malda still do not follow the basic norms like wearing masks, maintaining social distance and spitting or sneezing around.

“The district headquarters, English Bazaar, is also full of people who paint the walls and streets with their spit. However, given all these negative points, what emerges as a light at the end of the tunnel is the lower rate of infection for around 15 days now,” a heath official said.

Government statistics in the last 15 days (24 August to 7 September) show 659 new Covid cases in Malda with nine deaths. “It may be noted here that some of these cases happened outside the district, but they were included in the government data for the district for their registration of their hometown with the testing agencies,” the official said.

Almost 15,000 RT-PCR tests were conducted in the VRDL in the MMCH in these days with an average of almost a thousand per day, while several others also underwent the rapid antigen tests.

“Presently, almost 2000 tests are being conducted in Malda in a day, both RT-PCR and rapid antigen. We are hopeful, as the numbers have remained very low. However, we are not taking chances and not going for relaxations.

We are trying to find out how exactly there has been a dip in the cases, as, on the other hand, the number of tests has gone up. Our target is to detect each and every single Covid case to eradicate the virus from its root,” the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Malda, Dr Bhushan Chakrabarty, said.

People in general, on the other hand, have started to heave a shy of relief, while the Malda district chamber of commerce has decided to keep the shops open as usual. District Magistrate Rajarshi Mitra too said they were not letting their guard down.

“There is no doubt that the figures are very encouraging, but we have not started taking things lightly as yet. The entire situation is now under observation and we are laying more and more stress on tests, preferably RT-PCR. Rapid antigen tests will also be done in more numbers so that all positive cases can be detected. I also urge the people to follow the pandemic guidelines strictly,” he said