West Bengal Covid-19 situation worsens, no serious concerns being raised

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Testing of Covid-19 cases
Testing of Covid-19 cases

The world is facing a huge crisis, and the situation of West Bengal does not look good in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic. India has already reached the count of 1.39 million of Covid-19 cases till today.

West Bengal recorded its first Covid-19 case on 17 March, 2020, in Kolkata. Later, a larger number of cases started to emerge from various places in West Bengal. The total number of positive cases crossed 56,377 while 35,654 are recovered by now. Although the number of deaths is 1,332, the government facilities are not quite stable.

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Earlier, when cases were low, testing was not a problem. Neither were there problems related to hospitals or treatment. But later, when cases started rising at a steep rate, West Bengal began have difficulties.

Covid-19 hotspots in West Bengal

There are a total of 10 Red Zones in state, 516 areas identified as containment zones. The list of red zones is given below:

DistrictZone
KolkataRed Zone
HowrahRed Zone
North 24 ParganasRed Zone
South 24 ParganasRed Zone
Paschim Medinipur (West Midnapore)Red Zone
Purba Medinipur (East Midnapore)Red Zone
DarjeelingRed Zone
JalpaiguriRed Zone
KalimpongRed Zone
MaldaRed Zone
Covid-19 cases update:- Red Zone List

According to the rules of the state, only essential activities are permitted. Or else further activities are banned. These areas are barricaded and the relaxation which is provided in the unlock process is not given in containment zones.

Among the 516 containment zones, there are 312 containment zones in Kolkata alone. Whereas there are 76 containment and buffer zones identified in Howrah and 86 containment areas in North 24 Parganas to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus.

Problems in WB due to rising Covid-19 cases

People at Covid-19 testing centres
People at Covid-19 testing centres

Low testing rates, high number of positive cases

The state-wise assessment shows that Delhi, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan have reported high cases because of high testing. But the percentage of cases in West Bengal is high despite the low level of testing. So this means that there are more infected people as the assessment says but lacks testing and a lack of identification of cases.

Till July 21, West Bengal has conducted around 7.2 lakh tests.

But the medical experts, opposition parties, and the inter-ministerial central team the state criticised for its low testing capacity in the initial days of the pandemic. In the first week of April, per day less than 200 testings were done.

No vacancy/beds in private and government hospitals

On Friday evening, the health department reported 1,198 new COVID-19 cases in the state. 426 people died in the last 24 hours in the state, raising the death count to 880. Out of 1,198 cases, 374 of them were from Kolkata only.

As the new round of lockdown hits the door, more than half of the private hospitals are running out of bed. There were only 14% of beds vacant in private hospitals. Meanwhile, in government hospitals, it was over 76% vacant beds present.

Government hospitals have 10830 beds out of which 7904 are vacant. Meanwhile, in private hospitals, out of 1,423 beds, 206 are vacant, and of 33 private hospitals, 14 did not have a single vacant bed.

Why are people refusing to visit government hospitals?

One of the doctors of the West Bengal Doctors Forum Dr. Koushik Lahiri said, that Government doctors are excellent but somehow there is a lack of confidence in the set up of the government.

The doctors clarified that the maximum percentage of West Bengal Covid-19 cases come from the rich people living in buildings who actually visit private health care centres. The percentage is 85%. People living in slums add only 15% to the Covid-19 cases.

Lack of arrangements

The number of new positive cases on a single day was 441 and the total number of patients discharged was 562. The total number of beds was 10,340. This is the situation on 20th June. While when the cases on a single day 2,282 and the daily discharge 1,535. The dedicated COVID beds increased to 11,239 and this was the scenario of 20th July.

In a place with cases spiking each day, the state government in an entire month only managed to increase 899 dedicated COVID beds in hospitals across the state.

Hospitals are trying to reduce burdens

To escape liability, the government said those with mild symptoms or were asymptomatic may choose to stay in home isolation and opt for home treatment.

The hospital is following the ICMR guidelines, but what they are doing is that they are keeping the patients for seven days under medications. Then, they are asking the patients to vacate the beds after symptoms getting lowered. Later, they are suggesting home treatment. People are not getting the right treatment.

The doctors are saying that the total number of beds must be increased. About 80% of the total healthcare facility must be dedicated to the treatment of COVID patients.

Hiding the reports

In the early phase, 39 people died in the state. But the government was busy hiding the death rate of the people. They said that these people who died didn’t die of the corona, instead, they died of some other reasons or disease. So the state was hiding the reports. Many other activities that affected the life of the people in West Bengal, let us have a look.

The doctors of West Bengal could not provide the proper facility. So in order to release the problems of the arrangement of beds the hospital started hiding reports. The hospital delayed the reports of testing and also hid the reports of the people.

Recovery rate in West Bengal

The discharge rate was 47.79% on June 15 but it steadily increased in the other half of June. On June 30, it became 65.35%, while it was above 65% up to July 8. It reached its zenith on July 4 when the discharge rate was 66.72%.
On July 20, the discharge rate stood at 59.01%. In July, the number of people discharged from hospital was more than the number of people discharged in March, April, May, and June. In July, the number of people tested positive per day increased from 600 to 2,000. So, in July, the discharge rate is only 55.86%.

Though the number of cases has increased to a greater extent still the doctors are considering stage 3 cases as important ones. According to them, patients in stage 1 and 2 categories must be treated at home. Stage 3 patients should go to hospitals.

The conditions are worsening than ever before. But now it’s high time for the government to concentrate more on availing facilities to the needy ones rather than hiding cases.

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