Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], August 7 (ANI): As the influx of tourists rises in Kolkata, a city doctor expressed concern and said only a negative RT-PCR report or full vaccination doses do not suffice in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, 'they should undergo a rapid antigen test as well'.
With the spread of infection slowing down across the country and the Covid-norms relaxed, the tourist destinations have open their doors for visitors.
However, experts are of the opinion that a third wave of the pandemic is likely to hit the nation soon. This caught the attention of Dr Subrojyoti Bhowmick, Clinical Director at Kolkata's Peerless Hospital. Further, the tourist influx in the state, especially at the cheaper and cleaner areas like the beach of Digha, concerned him.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Bhowmick said, "We have to both sustain economically, as well as save the lives of our people. Last year, the tourism industry has suffered greatly so shutting it down is not a solution now. What we have to keep in mind is that two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are not enough; proper surveillance is needed along with Rapid Antigen tests of the tourists."
"Even with 2 doses, virus outbreak is possible. One must maintain COVID norms. Unless it is essentially required, one should not go to crowded areas. If suffering from symptoms, then isolate yourself," he added.
Mentioning the possibility of fully vaccinated people being positive but asymptomatic, he said, such people can become super spreaders. "State government must take steps to vaccinate people involved in the travel industry," he said.
Further, Dr Bhowmick said that pandemic fatigue is natural, and even after being fully vaccinated, there can be a breakthrough. Although, he said the virus infection is going to be less intense.
The West Bengal government eased its COVID-19 curbs a month ago, and ever since, tourists have been seen flouting the norms at several tourist spots in the state, resulting in a rise of cases in Northern Bengal. (ANI)