Community spread of Covid-19 seen in Bengal, follow protocols during Puja season: CM Mamata Banerjee

Community spread of Covid-19 seen in Bengal, follow protocols during Puja season: CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that community transmission of Covid-19 has started in the state.

Speaking to media after a cabinet meeting, Mamata Banerjee said that instances of coronavirus becoming airborne and community spread have been reported in West Bengal.

She also asked people of the state to maintain caution ahead of the upcoming Puja season.

"I ask everybody to follow the Covid-19 safety protocols during the festive season. There are instances of community transmission of Covid-19 and also the contagion becoming airborne," Mamata Banerjee said.

The chief minister asked people of West Bengal to avoid stepping out during the festive season as much as possible.

"I cannot ask people to not to go out but I request you all to not to go out shopping...many go out during this time for Puja celebrations," she said.

Mamata Banerjee also advised people to wear thick masks when they visit Durga Puja pandals in the state.

West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said measures are being taken bring down the cost of coronavirus tests and treatment.

Last month, the West Bengal government had issued a notification asking Durga Puja committees to follow Covid-19 safety protocols and set up open pandals where visitors cannot enter without masks.

"Pandals shall have to be spacious and should be kept open from all sides. If in case it becomes essential to have closed ceiling, the sides will have to be kept open and if the sides have to be blocked, the ceiling has to be kept open," the notification signed by Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said.

Entering a marquee without mask and hand sanitiser will not be allowed, the notification said.

Cultural programmes in or near the puja pandal premises are not allowed, according to the notification.

Around 34,437 and 2,509 community Durga Pujas are organised under the jurisdiction of West Bengal police and Kolkata Police respectively.

On Sunday, West Bengal recording its highest single-day spike of 3,612 Covid-19 cases, taking the state's total tally to 2,94,806. The Covid-19 death toll in the state has reached 5,622.