West Bengal is in the tight grip of COVID, reporting 18,802 fresh cases on Saturday, and 19 deaths, including seven in capital Kolkata.
Kolkata also posted a cumulative weekly positivity rate of more than 55 per cent on Friday, while the state’s positivity rate rose from Friday’s 26.34 per cent to 29.60 per cent.
The annual Gangasagar fair, a congregation of locals and seers, also kicked off in the state on Saturday after the Calcutta High Court gave it the red light but under strict enforcement of COVID guidelines. It will end on January 16.
The court ordered setting up of a committee that may recommend to the state a ban on entry to Sagar Island if there is any violation of health safety norms, PTI reported.
Kolkata on Saturday recorded 7,337 fresh cases of the infection while neighbouring North 24 Parganas reported 3,286 new cases. The number of new cases in Kolkata has risen sharply over the past week. On January 3, the city had posted 2,801 fresh cases and four deaths. Over the next three days, its daily tally more than doubled to reach 6,569 new cases. On Wednesday, it registered 6,170 new cases and five deaths.
According to doctors, the recently concluded Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls, Christmas and New Year celebrations are behind the surge in new infections in Kolkata.
It is speculated that the state, which has already announced the formation of micro-containment zones, might impose a full lockdown to curb the unprecedented spike in cases.
A study by the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics has found that 71.2 per cent of those infected with COVID in West Bengal are infected with the new Omicron variant.