Kolkata: The state government of West Bengal is worried about the COVID-19 situation. Therefore, this time Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave the message to take precautionary measures before Durga Puja.

Administrative officials of the state, including the chief minister, held a meeting with members of the Global Advisory Board on Monday (September 14). The members of the board also gave suggestions regarding the Durga puja preparations.

The state government is scheduled to hold a meeting with Durga puja committees on September 25. The final decision on what kind of rules will be followed during the Durga puja will be discussed in the meeting.

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday (September 14) said, “An advisory board set up by the state government has described organising Durga Puja festivities this year as a “big challenge” amid the COVID-19 crisis, and advocated erecting open marquees (pandals) as a precautionary measure to contain the virus spread.”

“They have given us a very good suggestion that the pandals should not be covered so as to allow enough ventilation. Places other than where idols will be kept should be left open from the top. We have accepted their proposal, and during the meeting with puja committees on September 25, we will hold further discussions,” she further added.

Mamata Banerjee said that the board, headed by Nobel laureate Abhijeet Vinayak Banerjee, during a virtual meeting on Monday (September 14), lauded the state government for the way in which it has dealt with the pandemic.

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The board has also advised against reopening educational institutions in the state.

The Chief Minister claimed that the coronavirus death rate in West Bengal has reduced to 1.94 percent and her government is making efforts to lower it even more.

Mamata Banerjee said, “Out of the total deaths, 86 percent are because of comorbidities. The death rate in our state has come down to 1.94 percent (from around 9 percent). We have to bring it down further and we will do it for sure. The positivity rate in the state is 8.21 percent, whereas it is 8.53 percent across the country, while the discharge rate is 86.40 percent against the national figure of around 77 percent.”

The state government said, “So far, Rs 10 lakh has been paid as compensation to the relatives of 26 deceased COVID patients. One lakh rupee financial assistance has been given to 3,200 COVID infected patients.”