Acting upon the Global Advisory Committee’s suggestion, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today introduced the concept of open-air Durga puja pandals to prevent the spread of Covid.

The issue would be placed at a meeting that will be held with the various Durga Puja committees on 25 September, Miss Banerjee said.

Barring the portion that hosts the idol of Maa Durga and her entourage, the entire pandal should be constructed in such a manner that has open space and is airy. If the pandal is a closed structure and crowded then it will increase the chance of spreading the infection.

“The Global Advisory committee suggested holding the puja in an airy and spacious area as a precautionary measure. The pandemic situation will remain for the time being so we have to be cautious,” said Miss Banerjee after holding a video conference with the committee.

Without naming any party, Miss Banerjee said that many are saying that the Corona is over but one should be very cautious as it is unknown whether the pandemic will increase its impact or not.

“We should continue wearing masks, using hand sanitisers and maintaining social distancing norms.

Some are spreading fake news saying Covid is over and trying to take out rallies. Law should take its course,” she said.

It may be mentioned here that the BJP leaders have claimed that Corona has gone and alleged that the state government was enforcing lockdowns to prevent them from holding political rallies.

Stressing that the Covid treatment process in the state was very good, Miss Banerjee said that the committee too appreciated it and has asked the government to be more careful before reopening schools and colleges.

Reiterating that treatment is provided free of cost to Covid patients, Miss Banerjee said that the discharge rate of patients in Bengal is 86.40 per cent, which is much higher in comparison to the national average of 77.93 per cent.

Bengal today recorded a single day spike with 3,211 Covid cases and 58 deaths due to infection, taking the total case count to 2,05,919 and death toll to 4,003. 86 per cent of the deaths in the state are due to comorbidities.

The CM said that the bed occupancy rate is 32.36 per cent. Again, the positivity rate is 8.21 per cent against the national rate of 8.53 per cent, she added