Bengal logs 13 deaths, 521 new Covid-19 cases take count to 16,711

West Bengal on Saturday registered 521 new Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths, taking the state’s total coronavirus tally to 16,711, the state health department said.

With the 13 fatalities, the eastern state’s death toll has now climbed to 629. Twelve of the 13 deaths were due to co-morbidities where the coronavirus infection was also one of the causes, health department data said.

The number of active coronavirus cases in Bengal is 5,293 while 10,789 patients have recovered from the infection and been discharged. In the last 24 hours since Friday, 254 patients have recovered from the infectious disease.

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On Friday, the state tested 9,548 samples to detect the coronavirus infection, the bulletin read.

With the country grappling with the deadly pathogen for the last three months, festivals in most states have taken a backseat with people practicing social distancing norms and not stepping out of their homes unless absolutely essential. At about this time, most Durga Puja committees in West Bengal gear up to start preparing for the state’s annual extravaganza—the five-day long Durga Puja.

This year, however, the state has a different story to tell. Representatives of some Durga Puja Committees from Kolkata and UK-based London Sharad Utsav are due to take part in a webinar to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the festival.

Subir Das from the Bengal Heritage Foundation said, “The webinar will be conducted in mid-July.”

The virtual discussion will be on how to help people like priests, ‘dhakis’, idol-makers, and pandal designers who are economically dependent on the Durga Puja as the key to their earnings, Das said.

India registered its worst single-day increase in Covid-19 cases, recording more than 18,000 cases of the coronavirus disease on Saturday to take the country’s tally to 508,953, the Union health ministry said.

According to the health ministry’s data, Covid-19 cases increased by 18,552 cases between Friday and Saturday, while the death toll climbed to 15,685 with 384 deaths in the last 24 hours.

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