Deaths due to COVID-19 infections in West Bengal crossed 100 for the first time on Saturday since the outbreak of the pandemic. The State registered 103 deaths in the past 24 hours and 17,512 infections.
A majority of deaths and infections have been reported from Kolkata and the North 24 Pargana districts. In the past 24 hours, 26 deaths were reported from the North 24 parganas taking tally in the district to 2,789. Kolkata recorded 19 deaths taking the fatalities to 3,455. The North 24 Parganas recorded 3,934 infections in the past 24 hours and Kolkata 3,885.
The biggest challenge amid the spike remains that there are no beds in the private hospitals. For admission in State-run hospitals, there is a centralised system where all admissions are routed through the headquarters of the Health Department Swastha Bhawan. Despite the spike in the deaths and infections, the State tested only about 56,297 samples in the past 24 hours.
Curbs on invitees at gatherings
The State government on Saturday made partial modifications to its notification issued a day before on restrictions imposed on shopping malls, restaurants and cinema halls. It said the number of invitees to marriage and other familial gathering should be restricted to minimum possible and at no time should the congregation be more than 50 persons in any ceremony.
The government also notified that retail outlets providing services relating to health care, electricity, telecom, grocery, sweat meats and milk supply will remain outside the confines of the embargo. The Friday notification said shops and markets will remain open only during 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. During the day, the Kolkata police were seen making announcements in markets and public places to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.
The third stage of vaccination for people between 18 and 45 years of age could not start as per the announcement by the Centre.