Covid-19 Cases, Positivity Rate Shoot Up After Durga Puja In West Bengal

New Covid-19 infections, as well as the positive rate, have been on the rise in West Bengal over the last five days, with specialists blaming it on widespread breaches of Covid-19 containment restrictions throughout the Durga puja festivities previously in the month.

The nighttime restriction, which was suspended for ten days throughout the Durga puja, will be reinstated on Thursday, according to a top state administration representative.

On 16th October, four hundred forty-three fresh Covid outbreaks were registered, but during the next five days, the figure nearly jumped to eight hundred sixty-seven fresh occurrences on 20th October.

On 15th October, the very famous festival of Kolkata, Durgapuja concluded. The optimism rate increased from 1.6 per cent on 20th August to 1.9 per cent on September 20 and 2.4 per cent on 20th October.

Dr Manas Gumta, secretary-general of the state's Organization of Health‐care Doctors stated that Although the puja took place the week before, the purchasing rush and celebrations began much beforehand. Throughout the puja days, massive crowds gathered around pandals, and thousands of Hindus from Kolkata and its environs took to the streets. The Covid-19 procedures were routinely broken.

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Durga puja, which is considered West Bengal's largest festival, took place over five days from 11th October to 15th October, but the celebrations began much beforehand and lasted till 17th October.

Even though barricades had been erected to enforce the Calcutta high court's order prohibiting people from entering puja pandals, worshippers were spotted assembling in huge numbers on either side of the barriers at the pandals.

The authorities had to stop tourists from entering one pandal in Salt Lake in one incident. The pandal, which was designed to look like the renowned Burj Khalifa, was a big draw this year. On the puja days, the Eastern Railway had to cancel roughly 13 pairs of trains to prevent passengers from travelling to Kolkata to go pandal hopping.

Sukumar Mukherjee, a participant of the expert committee established in 2020 to advise Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee on disease outbreak issues stated that the following two weeks would be key since Covid-19 occurrences are projected to surge,

The highest proportion of Covid-19 occurrences were reported on 22nd October of the previous year when 4,157 persons tested positive during the first wave of the virus. Last year, the opening day of Durga Puja was 22nd October.

On 14th May, soon after the assembly polls, the state experienced the climax of the second wave. The average total had risen to 20,846 at that point. In all incidents, medical authorities accused large public crowds that did not adhere to safety regulations.

The state health agency has resumed testing, which had been reduced throughout the holiday season.

During the puja, the number of RT-PCR tests plummeted to nearly half, according to a senior official from the state health department. They've begun to increase it. From Thursday, a night curfew will be implemented once more. On October 1, 39,661 tests were performed; by October 15, the proportion of tests had reduced to roughly 21,217. They have conducted 35,673 tests on October 20 and will continue to do so.