The total number of cases in the state is now at 4,536, according to the daily bulletin issued by the state government.
Among those who tested positive was state fire services minister and TMC leader Sujit Bose.
Even as coronavirus cases continued to increase in the state, the government on Thursday said government-aided schools will likely re-open after June 30 and students will be asked to attend classes on alternate days.
Highest spike in Covid-19 cases
Active cases in West Bengal on Thursday rose to 2,573 after 344 people tested positive for Covid-19 — the highest spike in a day in West Bengal so far.
Biggest single day spike
West Bengal on Thursday recorded the biggest single-day spike with 344 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the virus count to 4,536, a state health department bulletin said.
Six more people died of Covid-19 in the state and the government put the death toll at 223. The death toll put out by the West Bengal government does not count the 72 deaths of Covid-19 positive patients, who they said had died of “co-morbidities”.
The Union health ministry, however, counts the 72 deaths in Bengal’s death toll and has put the death toll at 295.
West Bengal has the fourth highest death toll among all states after Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi.
State Fire Services minister tests positive
Sujit Bose, West Bengal’s fire services minister has tested positive for Covid-19 and has been asked to go under home quarantine, reports said.
Anandabazar Patrika reported that Bose and his entire family got tested in a private hospital in Kolkata after their domestic help tested positive for Covid-19.
The report said that Bose was asymptomatic and hence has been asked to quarantine at home.
Several Shramik special train arrive in Bengal
PTI reported that seven Shramik special trains arrived in Bengal on Thursday. One Shramik Special arrived at Burdwan from Bandra, a railway official said.
Two other specials reached Malda from Mumbai and Surat, the official said.
Another special was on its way to New Jalpaiguri from Nagpur in Maharashtra, he said.
Two more Shramik Specials were scheduled to arrive at Howrah later in the night, the railway official said.
Special trains on way to destinations in north Bengal had stoppages at Dankuni near Howrah, at Burdwan and Rampurhat, with hundreds of passengers getting down at these places on way to their homes.
Some special trains bringing in migrant labourers from different states were scheduled to reach various destinations in West Bengal later in the night, the official said.
State-run schools to reopen?
State education Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters on Thursday that state-run schools are likely to re-open after June 30 and that they will follow an “alternate model” for classes.
PTI reported Chatterjee as saying, that this means students will be asked to attend classes on alternate days and follow required social distancing norms.
The report said that private schools could follow this rule or set up their own time table.
The report said that the minister hinted that he expects private schools will follow the governments decision.
“If a state-run school and a private school are situated in the same locality, the same yardstick should be applied to both, as students of the same locality will face similar situation,” Chatterjee said.
(With PTI inputs)