State to distribute 3 crore masks
Kolkata: The state government will distribute 3 crore masks among people from different walks of life that will ensure coverage of 99 per cent of the 2.5 crore families in the state.
The order for the same has been placed and it will be distributed among 1.10 crore school goers and others including 100-day scheme beneficiaries, frontline healthcare workers, police, fire services staff, municipalities and civic volunteers.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: "Our health infrastructure is fully prepared to tackle COVID-19, but we put equal emphasis on effective prevention from the virus too. Social distancing, safe practices and masks are the best ways to fight the pandemic. However, we feel, procuring masks may not be feasible for many."
She further stated: "The Government of West Bengal has therefore decided to procure 3 Crore masks, which shall be provided absolutely free of cost to school students, 100-day scheme beneficiaries, frontline healthcare workers, police, fire services staff, municipalities, civic volunteers etc."
Explaining the reason behind the hike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Kolkata, the Chief Minister said COVID-19 patients from different parts of the state get admitted at hospitals in Kolkata and it gets
recorded as COVID-19 cases in the city.
At the same time, continuous incoming of long distance trains and flights to the city is also leading to an influx in the number of cases.
Though Banerjee did not mention names of the five states Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh where the rate of infection is higher, she said that Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha wrote to the Centre requesting to stop movement of trains to Bengal from these places.
However, there is no problem with operation of domestic flight within the state.