Bengal reports record 16,403 fresh COVID-19 cases, 73 more deaths; state sets up medical gas pipeline systems in 105 hospitals

KOLKATA: West Bengal on Tuesday logged 16,403 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest-single spike recorded in the state so far, pushing the tally to 7,76,345, a bulletin issued by the state health department said.

The death toll climbed to 11,082 with 73 more fatalities, it said.

The metropolis accounted for 24 fatalities, followed by neighbouring North 24 Parganas (13), Howrah (8) and South 24 Parganas (6).

Forty-five of the 73 deaths were caused by comorbidities where COVID-19 was incidental, it said.

Two doctors also succumbed to the virus on Tuesday Partha Pratim Laha (47) and Prasanta Mukhopadhyay (84), a health department official said.

The new infections include 3,708 cases in Kolkata and 3,451 in North 24 Parganas.

West Bengal now has 1,00,615 active cases, while 6,64,648 people have recovered from the disease, the bulletin said.

Altogether, 1,02,70,645 samples have been tested in the state thus far.

Meanwhile, 1,89,839 people were inoculated during the day, the department said.

The state government has set up medical gas pipeline systems in at least 105 state-run hospitals, which would help in the treatment of around 12,500 COVID-19 patients, a senior official said on Tuesday.

He said that similar MGPS systems would be installed at 41 other state-run clinical estaablishments by May 15.

“There is no crisis of oxygen in West Bengal. By May 15, we will connect another 41 hospitals that would help in the treatment of 3,000 more Covid patients,” the official said, after a virtual meeting of state government officials.

“The state will also set up at least 55 pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants on emergency basis, and this will enable hospitals to generate the oxygen they need on their own, not depending on private agencies,” he said.

There are also plans to set up liquid medical oxygen tanks (LMO) at some medical colleges and hospitals, the official said, adding, the state produces 457 MT of oxygen per day as against a requirement of around 223 MT.

Meanwhile, the Kolkata Police on Tuesday decided to create green corridors to assist transportation of oxygen cylinders from supplying agencies to hospitals, a senior police officer said.