Odishatv Bureau

Kolkata: The West Bengal government has identified over 92,000 cases of influenza-like illness and 870 people with severe acute respiratory illness across the state, findings that serve as "early warning signals" in the fight against COVID-19, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.

Banerjee said the results were the outcome of her government's extensive door-to-door surveillance over the last one month, covering over 5.5 crore households, and the exercise will continue "till the virus is defeated".

"Massive door-to-door surveillance has been ongoing since past one month to identify severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI) cases across West Bengal.

"During the period from April 7 to May 3, over 5.57 crore household visits have been conducted. 872 cases of persons with SARI and 91,515 cases of persons with ILI have been identified and given necessary health advice," she said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The effort has been undertaken by 60,000 specially trained ASHA and health workers for the past four weeks, the chief minister said.

"The surveillance gives us early warning signals and is an important proactive step in fighting COVID-19," Banerjee, who also holds the health portfolio, said.

She said during the period, 375 people were admitted to different health facilities in the state, of which 62 tested positive for COVID-19 and are undergoing treatment.

"The surveillance efforts are going on and we will not stop till we defeat COVID-19 together in Bengal," Banerjee said.

Till Wednesday afternoon, West Bengal reported 72 COVID-19 deaths and the total number of cases rose to 1,456.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued earlier in the day, Banerjee said the state government has decided to notify Medical College, Kolkata as a full-fledged tertiary-level COVID Hospital, which will start functioning from Thursday.

"The facility at Medical College, Kolkata will start with 500 beds (for both COVID-19 and SARI), which would be scaled up as per need, in phases. This will be the 68th dedicated COVID Hospital of West Bengal," she said.


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