Seven more people died of the novel coronavirus disease in West Bengal on Tuesday, taking the toll to 68. The count is 140 if deaths in which comorbidities have been a factor are included.
Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said since Monday evening, 85 more positive cases were detected, pushing up the number to 1,344.
Bandyopadhyay said a total of 264 people had been discharged from hospitals till date after recovering from the infection — 46 of them since Monday evening. The number of active cases at present was 940, he added.
“The number of samples tested in the last 24 hours are 2,455, and the total number is 27,571,” said Bandyopadhyay, adding that 4,712 people were still in government quarantine while 5,561 people were in home isolation.
The Home Secretary also hit out at the Centre, accusing it of not keeping its promises.
“The Central government promised to give one kg of masoor dal per family under the PMGKY scheme. So, the state needs 14,530 metric ton of masoor dal per month. But the Central government sent only 6,550 MT of masoor dal. So, we failed to distribute the daal through ration among the needy families.”
Bandyopadhya said the state had already distributed half of the ration within four days.
“We have to give ration among the 9.95 crore ration cards. Out of which, 9.30 crore have digital ration cards and 65 lakhs were distributed coupons. Out of that, within four days, 4.75 crore people received supplies, which is 24.9 food grains.”
The Home Secretary said some dealers had been booked in these past few days for alleged irregularities in supplies. “In the last four days, the food department show-caused 21 dealers,” he added.
Since April, 359 dealers have been show-caused. Of these dealers, 50 were arrested, 64 were suspended, 25 were fined, and 45 cases were filed by the Enforcement Branch.
“We are happy that people at large are receiving their entitlements with maintaining social distancing norms,” said the Home Secretary.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on her Facebook page about a “massive door-to-door surveillance” undertaken by her administration across the state over the past month “to identify cases of “Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) and Influenza-like Illness (ILI)”.
The Chief Minister said 60,000 specially trained ASHA and health-workers had undertaken this exercise over the past four weeks.
“The surveillance gives us early warning signals and is an important proactive step in fighting COVID-19,” she added.
The Chief Minister said between April 7 and May 3 more than 5.57 crores household visits were conducted by these frontline workers, and 872 SARI cases and 91,515 ILI cases had been identified.
Banerjee said 375 people had been admitted to different health facilities due to these efforts, and “62 of them have tested positive for COVID-19”. She added: “The surveillance efforts are ongoing and we will not stop till we together defeat corona in Bengal.”
Rs 40-crore liquor sale recorded on Day 1
West Bengal recorded liquor sales of Rs 40 crores on the first day of reopening of standalone shops on Monday, a wine traders’ body of the state said.
Forty-two days after the lockdown was enforced, the state government allowed only ‘OFF’ shops to reopen in all the red, orange and green zones, except those located in containment areas from Monday.
“The state registered liquor sales of around Rs 40 crores yesterday. Seventy per cent of the states liquor shops located in red, orange and green zones reopened yesterday,” said Sushmita Mukherjee, Assistant Secretary of West Bengal Foreign Liquor, ON, OFF, CS Shops and Hotel Owners Association.
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