The number of COVID -19 infections and deaths in West Bengal continued to surge with the State recording 16,403 infections and 73 deaths in the past 24 hours. This is the highest number of infections and deaths recorded in the State after the outbreak of the pandemic.
People waited in long serpentine queues at the State-run hospitals for the second dose of vaccination. In case of some hospitals like the State-run SSKM hospital, people had started queuing up in the early hours of morning itself. Both in Kolkata and he district, the hospital authorities said there were not enough vaccines. In some places people erupted in protest when the hospitals said they had run out of the supply.
In two State-run hospitals in Birbhum district, family members of the patients alleged that there was no oxygen available that resulted in the death of the patients. The hospital authorities admitted some shortage but said the deaths were not related to short supply of oxygen. The State government has been maintaining that there is no paucity of medical oxygen.
The Health Department issued “Guideline for Oxygen Therapy” to “prevent misuse” of oxygen and “administer it to every patient who requires it”.
The State government announced that the Apollo Hospitals has promised the government to add 300 beds in the next few days. The number of active cases remained at 1,00,615, the number of ventilators in the COVID hospitals remained at 1,283 and the ICU/HDU beds are 1,838, according to the government.
Despite an increase in the number of infections, the number of tests has remained 55,287. People across the districts and in the metropolis said the results of tests are taking two to three days. The testing kits for RT-PCR examination remained unavailable for home collection and patients with suspected infection were being forced to queue up at hospitals.