Updated: January 2, 2022 4:18:00 am
With West Bengal experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases, the state government has decided to postpone its ‘Duare Sarkar’ programme till further notice. The initiative, aimed at taking government services to the doorsteps of people, was planned to be undertaken across the state from January 2.
The state government on Saturday formally communicated its decision to defer the initiative indefinitely.
“(The) ‘Duare Sarkar’ programme has been postponed for now and will be held subsequently. The dates for the same will be communicated in due course,” stated a notice issued by the government on Saturday.
Citing the uptick in Covid cases, the government has also deferred the distribution of student credit cards which was scheduled to begin on January 3. Sources in the administration said parts of the state are headed back to a “mini-lockdown” through introduction of micro-containment zones.
Meanwhile, police personnel with loudspeakers were deployed on city streets on New Year’s Day and they went about warning revellers against dropping their masks. At the Kolkata Zoological Garden and Victoria Memorial, which are popular with New Year crowds, police personnel were seen asking visitors to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
Till they were prodded by the men in uniform to wear masks, many were reluctant to do so.
Dealing a sobering note to the festive mood in the city, the health department issued a bulletin saying the state had recorded 4,51fresh cases over the last 24 hours, up from 3,451 cases on Friday. Kolkata alone accounted for 2,398 cases recorded on Saturday.
The state also reported nine new Covid-related deaths, which took its overall toll to 19,773.
The state also saw 1,913 fresh recoveries in the past 24 hours, taking the cumulative count to 16,09,924, the health bulletin said. The recovery rate now stands at 97.99 per cent, while the active cases are at 13,300.
While Kolkata accounted for bulk of the fresh cases on Saturday, five other districts – Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah – recorded 3,793 cases taken together.
A total of 37,542 swab samples were tested for Covid-19 on Saturday.
Aroop Biswas tests positive, stable
State Power Minister Aroop Biswas was hospitalised on Saturday after he tested positive for Covid-19, an official said. “He has mild symptoms and he is being administered antibodies. ” a doctor said. His condition was stated to be stable.
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