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Total cases in West Bengal rise to 1,344, 7 fresh deaths in last 24 hrs

State home secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said that the prime focus is on the containment zones where all activities as well as entry and exit have been restricted. DMs have been instructed to closely review and monitor the Corona situation in these zones.

The Statesman Desk | Kolkata |

Eighty five new Corona positive cases have been detected and seven persons died due to the infection in the last 24 hours in West Bengal. The total Corona cases has risen to 1344 and the death toll is currently 68 here. A total of 264 patients were discharged till now with 46 patients being discharged since yesterday. Presently, the total Corona active cases is 940.

State home secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said that the prime focus is on the containment zones where all activities as well as entry and exit have been restricted. DMs have been instructed to closely review and monitor the Corona situation in these zones.

Bandopadhyay said that barring a few stray incidents, the overall foodgrain distribution system was peaceful and 50 per cent of the population has already lifted their monthly entitlements in the first four days of the month. A total of 4.75 crore of the state’s population has lifted 24.9 quintal food grains from 21,000 ration shops across the state.

State government has show-caused 359 ration dealers and suspended 64 for their involvement in corrupt practices while distribution amid Covid-19 lockdown across the state. In the last four days, state food and supplies department has show-caused 21 ration dealers. Penalty has been slapped on 25 dealers and they have been fined between Rs 15 lakh to Rs four lakh.

“Along with intensifying action against errant ration dealers we have managed to ensure that people get their foodgrain entitlements,” said Bandopadhyay. Eight crore of the total population are entitled for free ration till September and 65 lakh coupons have been given to people who did not receive their digital cards so as to enable them to lift their foodgrains.

He said that the pulses can’t be distributed now as state has received 6,550 metric tonne per month against the requirement of 14,530 metric tonne. The Trinamul Congress and the Opposition parties have accused each other of politicising the distribution of food during the coronavirus pandemic. Opposition parties have alleged that a section of the ration dealers are involved in hoarding and black-marketing of foodgrains meant for PDS.