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West Bengal sees fall in Covid cases

The positivity rate that had gone up to more than 37 per cent has also reduced to around 23 per cent in the last seven days.

IANS | Kolkata |

With strict restrictions in place, the number of Covid-19 infections has reduced significantly in West Bengal, as per the state health department.

The number of daily cases in the state came down by more than 10,000 in the state in the last seven days. The rate of infection has also declined, giving a temporary relief to the state health department.

According to state health department, the state recorded 24,272 cases on January 9 this year – the highest number of daily cases recorded in the state so far – but on Sunday, the daily infection rate came down to 14,938 making it obvious that the restrictions imposed by state government is having a positive effect on the spread of the infection in the state.

The positivity rate that had gone up to more than 37 per cent has also reduced to around 23 per cent in the last seven days.

“The imposition of the restrictions imposed by the state government is having a positive effect on the spread of the virus. Though the infection rate is still high in some districts including Kolkata, Howrah and North and South 24 Parganas, we are strictly imposing it on the micro-containment zones which is having a good impact in controlling the spread of the disease,” a senior health department official said.

Considering the steep rise in cases, the state government had imposed a partial lockdown in the state on January 1. It had closed all academic activities in schools, colleges and universities allowing only administrative activities shall be permitted with 50 per cent of employees at a time”.

The state election commission even deferred the election of four municipal corporations till February 12 because of the surging cases. The commission had earlier announced the election on January 22.

Apart from that, local trains were allowed to operate with 50 per cent seating capacity till 10 pm and Metro services were left operational with 50 per cent seating capacity as per usual operational time. Movement of people and vehicles and public gatherings of any kind were prohibited between 10 p.m to 5 am. Only essential and emergency services were permitted.

Besides, all swimming pools, spas, gyms, beauty parlors, saloons, wellness centres, entertainment parks, zoos, tourist places were closed and all government offices, including public undertakings, were asked to function with 50 per cent of employees at a time. Work from home was encouraged and all private offices and establishments were asked to function with 50 per cent of employees at a time.

In addition to this, all-shopping malls and market complexes were allowed to function with restricted entry of people by not exceeding 50 per cent of the capacity at a time and up to 10 p.m. Restaurants and bars were allowed to operate with 50 per cent of capacity at a time and up to 10 p.m. Cinema halls and theatre halls were allowed to operate with 50 per cent of seating capacity at a time and up to 10 p.m.