The number of daily new Covid cases in West Bengal has been under 10 for the past week.
The state recorded three new Covid cases on Saturday and Sunday, the fewest since the pandemic began taking a toll on lives in April 2020, according to the state health department.
Seven new cases were reported in the state on Monday, and the same number was reported on November 22.
The Telegraph examines how, in response to the decline in new infections, the Covid restrictions have been loosened at airports and hospitals.
At the airport and on flights, mask wear is no longer required.
An announcement that wearing a mask was no longer required but that passengers could do so for hygiene reasons and that they should periodically sanitise their hands was recently made at the airport in Bangalore, where a Kolkatan who was travelling to the city from there overheard.
According to an official, some airlines are announcing similar information to passengers at the airport in Kolkata.
“We sent out a team of staff to identify any passengers who weren’t donning masks. The passengers would be asked to wear the mask, and if they refused, they would be fined. The staff has since been disbanded and has returned to carrying out its original responsibilities, according to the airport representative.
The RT-PCR tests for arriving foreign travellers have likewise been discontinued.
“Up until recently, 2% of travellers arriving from particular nations would be randomly selected for the experiment. That has likewise been stopped, the spokesman said. He said that the RT-PCR test counters at the terminal building have been completed by the state health agency.
The organisation running the RTPCR tests had established a lab at the airport.
The official stated, “The agency has been asked to close the lab.”
International travellers arriving in Kolkata had to wait a long time for RT-PCR tests to be completed and then for the results before they could eventually exit the airport after partial operations for international aircraft had restarted.
Officially, all hospitals are adhering to the Covid standards, such as the wearing of masks, but in reality, many medical facilities have relaxed the rules.
Many hospitals in Kolkata do not require visitors to the institution, including patients and their family members, to wear masks.
Additionally, the limitations have been loosened at medical offices.
One Kasba resident who visited a south Kolkata clinic on Monday night for a doctor’s appointment reported that the majority of those waiting their turns did not wear masks.
Few people were donning masks, and nobody was asking them to do so. The doctor and other staff members, however, wore masks, the woman remarked.
“Since the number of Covid cases has drastically decreased, the limits have been loosened. Amitabha Saha, Director of intensive care at AMRI Hospitals, Mukundapur, remarked, “I am personally inspecting patients, which was not the case during the peak of Covid. Nevertheless, he added, “I am asking patients and their guests to wear masks during the consultation.”
Most hospitals haven’t admitted a Covid patient in more than a month.
“No Covid patients are present, and no one is coming in for Covid testing. However, we continue to maintain a two-bed unit for Covid patients. However, because there is no such government directive, we have not yet loosened the Covid limits, according to Sudipta Mitra, CEO of Peerless Hospital.