Rates of Covid deaths, positivity in Bengal now much less than first wave: Mamata

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Kolkata, May 29 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that the average death rate due to Covid-19 and the positivity rate were much less now than what they were during the first wave of the pandemic last year.

Stating the West Bengal government has been able to vaccinate over 1.40 crore citizens, she claimed that the state is in the No. 1 position in the country in terms of inoculating people.

'It is good news for us that the positivity rate has come down from 33 per cent to 18 per cent and it has become possible only because people abided by the strict restrictions imposed,' she told reporters at the secretariat.

'The average death rate during the ongoing second wave is around 0.56 per cent, much less than the figure of 1.67 per cent during the first wave,' she said.

On the inoculation of people, Banerjee said that if the Centre provides the state with three crore vaccine doses as demanded by her, one crore would be given to the private sector and the health department will use the rest in vaccinating people below 18 years.

'If we can use these two crore vaccines, I believe we will be able to cover 80 per cent of the population below 18 years,' she said.

Meanwhile, West Bengal on Saturday registered 11,514 fresh Covid-19 cases taking the tally to 13,54,956, the bulletin released by the state health department said.

The toll rose to 15,268 after 148 more people succumbed to the disease, it said.

Altogether 18,774 recoveries were registered in West Bengal during the day, improving the discharge rate to 91.32 per cent. So far, 12,37,290 people have been cured of the disease.

Accordingly, the number of active cases slipped to 1,02,398.

Out of the 148 deaths, 70 were due to comorbidities where Covid-19 was incidental.

The city accounted for 44 fresh fatalities while North 24 Parganas district reported 36 deaths. The remaining casualties were registered in several other districts of the state.

The new positive cases included 2441 from North 24 Parganas 1,735 from Kolkata.

Since Friday, 63,518 samples were tested for coronavirus in West Bengal, taking the total number of such examinations to 1,23,01,819, the bulletin said.

Altogether 2,67,010 people were vaccinated in the state on Saturday. PTI SCH NN NN