COVID-19 pandemic in West Bengal
The COVID-19 pandemic was first confirmed in the Indian state of West Bengal on 17 March 2020 in Kolkata. The Health and Family Welfare department of Government of West Bengal has confirmed a total of 3197 COVID-19+ve cases, including 1745 active cases, 259 deaths and 1193 recoveries, as of 21 May 2020.
|COVID-19 Pandemic in West Bengal|
Districts of West Bengal, affected by COVID-19, as of 4 May 2020
200+ confirmed cases
100–199 confirmed cases
10–99 confirmed cases
1–9 confirmed cases
|Location||West Bengal, India|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||18 March 2020|
(2 months, 1 week and 1 day)
|Confirmed cases||4,009 (26 May 2020)|
|Recovered||1,486 (26 May 2020)|
|283 (26 May 2020)|
|18 out of 23 districts|
4 February: A Kolkata Airport passenger was kept under hospitalization. Later he was tested negative.
17 March: One male, aged 18 years who had returned from the UK on 15 March, was tested positive.
20 March: One male, aged 22 years who had returned from the UK on 13 March, was tested positive.
21 March: One female, aged 23 years who had returned from Scotland on 19 March, was tested positive.
22 March: One male, aged 57 years who was admitted to a private facility in North Kolkata, was tested positive.
23 March: First COVID-19 death was reported as the 57-year-old male patient expired at the private facility. He was a railway employee and recently came from Bilaspur. Two males (48 years and 20 years) and one female (47 years), who were in direct contacts of a positive case, were tested positive.
24 March: One 58-year-old male, who returned from Egypt and one 55-year-old female, who returned from the UK, were tested positive.
26 March: One male, aged 66 years who was admitted to a private facility in South Kolkata, was tested positive.
27 March: One male (aged 11 years) and four females (aged 27 years, 45 years, 6 years and 9 months), all belonging to a close group of siblings and relatives, were tested positive. They came in contact with a positive case in Delhi who came from the UK on 16 March.
28 March: Two females, aged 76 years and 56 years who both were kept under quarantine for coming in direct contact with one previously COVID-19 positive case, were tested positive. They came in contact with their close relatives who came from the US and Singapore.
30 March: The female of 44 years from Kalimpong district expired at a government hospital in Siliguri. Another female of 48 years, who expired at a government hospital in Howrah with a case of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness, was later found COVID-19 positive.
31 March: One male, who was aged 57 years and had Severe Acute Respiratory Illness, expired at a private facility in Howrah. He was tested positive. Total death count at the end of this month is 4.
1 April: One male, aged 57 years having kidney failure and one male, aged 62 years having high blood pressure and other co-morbid conditions, expired early in the morning. Both of them were reportedly tested positive, which is a subject to confirmation.
|Tests per million people [note 1]||1,623|
|As of 26 May 2020[update]|
|Public||Name of Testing Lab||Functional w.e.f||Samples Tested|
|National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases||Since Beginning||5279|
|IPGMER and SSKM Hospital||17-Mar||4112|
|Midnapore Medical College||24-Mar||1503|
|North Bengal Medical College||29-Mar||3640|
|School of Tropical Medicine||01-Apr||3334|
|Malda Medical College & Hospital||08-Apr||1450|
|Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute||22-Apr||136|
|R.G. Kar Medical College & Hospital||24-Apr||700|
|Murshidabad Medical College||26-Apr||599|
|Private||Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals||06-Apr||403|
|Tata Medical Center, Kolkata||06-Apr||1124|
|Peerless Hospitex Hospital & Research Centre||30-Apr||20|
|Suraksha Diagnostic Pvt. Ltd.||24-Apr||636|
|Dr. Lal Pathlabs Ltd.||17-Apr||2080|
|43414 (As on 10 May 2020)|
- Total Number of Govt. Hospitals treating COVID-19: 15
- Total Number of Pvt. Hospitals treating COVID-19: 52
The West Bengal state government has identified 7 hotspots as of 7 April 2020. The names of hotspots are not officially disclosed. There are rumours that Kolkata, Howrah, Belgharia, Haldia, Egra, Tehatta and Kalimpong are the 7 hotspots.People living here have been asked to stay inside.
14 March: Government on Saturday announced that all schools, colleges and universities in the state will remain closed till 31 March, in the view of evolving situation on the spread of COVID-19.
17 March: State government stepped up its defence with chief minister Mamata Banerjee announcing the closure of educational institutions till 15 April. She said that even ICDS would be closed till 15 April and two kilograms of rice and potatoes would be sent to the children directly so that the meals can be cooked at home.
21 March: The government has mandated a partial work-from-home system for 7.9 crore people who get subsidized rations. The CM promised that government will give free ration to the poor till September.
23 March: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee announced Monday that the state government is creating a Rs 200 crore fund to deal with the impact of COVID-19.
24 March: Entire West Bengal was brought under lock down till 31 March.
25 March: West Bengal Government converts Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata, for isolation of people suspected with Coronavirus.
30 March: West Bengal government issues order to authorities of every districts to set up temporary arrangements of shelter and food to migrants and poor.
Allegations against West Bengal GovernmentEdit
Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee and her government was widely criticised of the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and was accused of concealing facts by the opposition and critics. The opposition accused Mamata of playing “appeasement politics” amid the COVID-19 crisis. On 1 April, Banerjee claimed that the West Bengal Government have already traced 54 people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat religious gathering during the COVID-19 Outbreak, and 44 of them are foreigners. Although according to a report by central security agencies, 232 people had attended the Delhi's Tablighi Jamaat event from West Bengal. Of this, 123 are Indian nationals and 109 are foreigners. Sooner she clarified that her government has acted swiftly after the Nizamuddin area was declared as a hotspot where nearly 2,300 people were staying despite the lockdown. She further added that the government has quarantined 177 people, including 108 foreigners, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz.
The West Bengal Government has been also criticised for not sending enough samples to the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases(NICED) for testing. West Bengal test numbers saw some rise after talks between government and NICED. According to them, this will be scaled up further in coming days.
The West Bengal Government has also been recommended to ensure transparency, genuine and verifiable data of COVID-19 by the West Bengal Doctors Forum (WBDF), as doctors cannot afford to send wrong signals to the world. The doctors also hit out at the idea of the bureaucratic system to identify the death of COVID-19 patients. Their spokesperson claimed that every doctor is qualified enough and does not need a committee for such certification. On April 25, 2020, The WB Govt admitted that 57 COVID-19 patients died but also said that 39 from comorbidities, after Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) seeks report. The IMCT also pointed out flaws of the Govt in their letter to the Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, in which the letter read:
There were a large number of patients in the isolation wards of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) as well as MR Bangur hospitals awaiting COVID test results for five days or longer. Specifically at CNCI, there were four patients awaiting test result since April 16, 2020, two patients awaiting test result since April 17, 2020, and three since April 18, 2020. Some of the patients have tested negative. It is not clear why the test results should take such a long time and there is a danger of COVID-19 negative patient acquiring the infection in the hospital while awaiting test result
|In hospital isolation||330|
|Data provided by the Health and Family Welfare department as of 4 May 2020.|
District wise cases & GraphsEdit
COVID-19 pandemic in West Bengal by district
|District||Z||Diagnosed cases[a]||Deaths||Recovered cases||Active cases||Last case reported on|
|West Bengal||4,009||283||1,486||2,240||26 May 2020|
|Bankura||R||1||0||0||1||23 May 2020|
|Birbhum||O||20||0||6||14||24 May 2020|
|Dakshin Dinajpur||O||4||0||0||4||23 May 2020|
|Darjeeling||O||10||1||5||4||20 May 2020|
|Hoogly||R||213||7||117||89||24 May 2020|
|Howrah||R||799||36||224||539||24 May 2020|
|Jalipaiguri||O||5||1||4||0||1 April 2020|
|Jhargram||G||3||0||3||0||10 May 2020|
|Kalimpong||O||7||1||6||0||2 April 2020|
|Kolkata||R||1,667||180||652||835||24 May 2020|
|Malda||O||82||0||12||70||24 May 2020|
|Murshidabad||O||44||0||8||36||24 May 2020|
|Nadia||O||26||0||9||17||24 May 2020|
|North 24 Paraganas||R||468||37||169||262||24 May 2020|
|Paschim Bardhaman||O||22||0||10||12||24 May 2020|
|Paschim Medinipur||O||28||0||19||9||22 May 2020|
|Purba Bardhaman||O||27||0||6||21||24 May 2020|
|Purba Medinipur||R||53||0||32||21||22 May 2020|
|South 24 Paraganas||R||124||5||49||70||24 May 2020|
|Uttar Dinajpur||G||33||0||3||30||24 May 2020|
|Zone: Red Orange Green[b]|
|As of 26 May 2020|
Daily new casesEdit
Semilog plot of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and of COVID-19 recoveries & deaths in West BengalEdit
The centre has identified 170 COVID-19 hotspot districts in 25 states across India. The states have been asked to classify hotspot areas as red zones and focus on converting the red zones to orange and then green zones.
The West Bengal government on Monday released a list, saying four districts, including Kolkata, have been declared as red zones in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and 348 areas as containment zones, out of which Kolkata has 227. There are some districts in Orange & Green zones. The lockdown process will be strict in those Red Zone Containment areas. Some relaxation will be given to Orange zones and Most relaxation will be given to Green Zones.
The West Bengal government has been sharing regular updates of the lists of containment zones from 4 May 2020.
- Population based on 2019 estimates from National Health Mission 
- "West Bengal reports first positive case of coronavirus". India Times. 18 March 2020.
- "west bengal coronavirus news: 'Low testing, high cases: West Bengal's grave scenario' - The Economic Times". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
- "nCoV Bulletin as on 04.02.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV Bulletin as on 17.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV Bulletin as on 20.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 21.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 22.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV Bulletin as on 23.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 24.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 26.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 27.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 28.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "এ বার উত্তরবঙ্গে করোনার হানা, আক্রান্ত কালিম্পঙের মহিলা". Ei Samay (in Bengali). 29 March 2020.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 30.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 31.03.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- Singh, Shiv Sahay (31 March 2020). "Coronavirus | Man dies in West Bengal, toll rises to 4". The Hindu.
- "nCoV bulletin as on 01.04.2020" (PDF). WB Health Portal.
- "Report_Population_Projection_2019.pdf" (PDF).
- "Govt_Labs_28042020.pdf" (PDF).
- "Pvt_Labs_28042020.pdf" (PDF).
- "Coronavirus Lockdown: West Bengal govt asks districts to set up temporary shelters for poor, migrants". Deccan Herald. 30 March 2020.
- "Seven Covid hotspots identified in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee". Economic Times. 10 April 2020.
- "রাজ্যে মৃত বেড়ে ৫, চিহ্নিত করা এলাকায় তীক্ষ্ণ নজর". Anandabazar Patrika (in Bengali). 8 April 2020.
- "Coronavirus | West Bengal government closes all educational institutions till March 31". The Hindu. 14 March 2020.
- "Kolkata schools to remain shut till 15 April: CM". The Statesman. 17 March 2020.
- "Work-from-home for government staff, free ration for 7.9 crore poor in West Bengal". Times of India. 21 March 2020.
- "Coronavirus lockdown: What states are doing to help the poor and unorganised workers". The Print. 25 March 2020.
- "Entire West Bengal brought under lockdown till March 31". India Times. 24 March 2020.
- "West Bengal converts state-run hospital in Kolkata into COVID-19 isolation and treatment facility". Firstpost. 25 March 2020.
- Debobrat Ghose (8 April 2020). "Coronavirus Outbreak: Mamata Banerjee displays little cooperation even as Opposition unites to stand behind Centre". Firstpost. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
Again, on 2 April, while seven coronavirus deaths in the state were confirmed by its health department, the figure was soon revised to three.
- "Is hiding Jamaat cases about vote bank: BJP asks Mamata on Bengal coronavirus numbers". India Today. 8 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
The BJP has accused Mamata Banerjee of indulging in vote bank politics after the West Bengal Chief Minister refused to share update on those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, identified as a hotspot for the spread of novel coronavirus.
- Madhuparna Das (7 April 2020). "Mamata calls questions on Tablighi event 'communal', avoids giving any answers". ThePrint. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday declined to give an update on the status of the people from the state who had attended Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat congregation, telling the media to not ask “communal questions”.
- "Mamata Banerjee reveals Tablighi Jamaat figure: 108 foreigners, 69 other attendees quarantined in West Bengal". Financial Express. 9 April 2020.
- 177 Tablighi Jamaat Attendees Quarantined In WB Says Mamata Banerjee - BW Businessworld
- "Tablighi Jamaat case: 108 foreigners, 69 other attendees quarantined in West Bengal". WION. 9 April 2020.
- Indrajit Kundu (13 April 2020). "Mamata govt not sending enough samples for Covid-19 testing, says central lab director". Kolkata: India Today. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
Responding to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s complaints about lack of testing kits in West Bengal, Dutta said ICMR has dispatched 42,500 kits to NICED so far.
- Himadri Ghosh (11 April 2020). "COVID-19: Data Shows West Bengal's Testing Is the Lowest Among Larger States". Kolkata: The Wire. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
West Bengal has conducted 1,889 tests as on April 9, according to the data furnished by the state health department. A total of 144,910 samples from 130,792 individuals have been tested as on April 9, 2020, 9 pm across India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.
- "West Bengal test numbers rise after talks between government and NICED | Kolkata News - Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 14 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
- "West Bengal Doctors Forum: transparency in COVID-19 Data". republicworld.com.
- "West Bengal doctors forum hits out at govt, says not enough tests being conducted". indiatoday.in. 15 April 2020.
- "Bengal Admits 57 COVID-19 Patients Died, But Says 39 From Comorbidities After Central Team Seeks Report".
- "Bulletin_West_Bengal_30.04_.2020_.pdf" (PDF).
- "Home | Ministry of Health and Family Welfare | GOI". www.mohfw.gov.in. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
- "Kolkata COVID19 Map | Containment Zones | Howrah included". WEsearch lab. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- "List of Containment Zones declared on 27 April, 2020". EduKare Bulletin. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
- "District Wise Containment Zones by Government of West Bengal". West Bengal State Portal. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- "Bulletin_West_Bengal_28.04_.2020_.pdf" (PDF).
- "Bulletin_West_Bengal_29.04_.2020_.pdf" (PDF).