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West Bengal’s Covid positivity rate over 5%, 1st time since August 11 | Delhi News

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KOLKATA: The Covid positivity rate in Bengal crossed the 5% mark on Sunday for the first time since August 11. Despite the slight rise in Covid cases, however, doctors said there is no rise in patients needing intensive-care treatment. Ahead of Durga Puja, health experts have allayed fears of the shadow of the pandemic stalking revellers since doctors are finding most new infections to be like any other influenza.
The positivity rate of 5.3% was based on 7,049 samples tested. Among the affected, 3,047 are in home isolation; 76 are in hospital. Bengal has a Covid recovery rate of 98.8%.
“No doubt there is a minor surge and such uptick will happen on and off. This is the natural process of an epidemic waning. There is no rise in the number of hypoxic patients needing oxygen. We should be treating Covid like any other influenza by now,” said Yogiraj Ray, associate professor of infectious diseases at IPGMER. “At present, we have six patients, none on oxygen support,” he added.
According to health experts, the virus, already in its epidemic phase, will continue to cause minor surges every four to six months.
“This kind of slight rise and fall in infection will happen from time to time. But there should be no more surge like the previous waves. Also, what makes the situation different this puja from that of 2020 and 2021, is that most of us are fully vaccinated and the virus is significantly less virulent,” said pulmonologist Kausik Chaudhuri, nodal officer for Covid at Infectious Diseases & Beliaghata General (ID&BG) Hospital.
Chaudhuri, however, cautioned that while people can go pandal-hopping without fear this time, they should continue wearing masks in the crowd and practise hand hygiene.
“And if someone has fever, they should stay away from the crowd unless a test report negates infection,” Chaudhuri added.
ID Hospital on Friday had only four Covid patients, and all four are expected to be discharged in the next four to five days.
“There is a slight rise and we can expect a further rise post puja. We are currently getting about 14 new cases a week, all with steady oxygen saturation and none very sick or requiring hospital care. As long as cases are mild, we need not worry,” said Raja Dhar, director, pulmonology wing at CMRI.
But doctors said those with underlying co-morbid conditions should continue all preventive measures.
“The rise in number is not alarming. In fact, there is no rise in patients needing critical-care treatment. Instead, there is a decline in the count of such patients,” said critical care specialist Subhobrata Pal, in-charge of the Covid critical care unit at MR Bangur Hospital.

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