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West Bengal: Doctors welcome high court's order declaring all Durga Puja pandals as no entry zones

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Kolkata, Oct 21: Doctors in West Bengal have welcomed the Calcutta High Court's order of no-visitors' entry inside pandal and appealed to Durga Puja organisers to follow the restrictions to stem a possible surge of the COVID-19 infections in the state during the festivities.

Durga Puja

Describing the order as "historic", doctors said that if clubs and puja committees adhere to the directive the COVID-19 transmission would definitely be restricted to a certain level.

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"This is a revolutionary and historic verdict of the Calcutta High Court. Understanding the situation and the realising the importance of the verdict people must adhere to it. Nobody is against any festival but we must understand that avoiding gatherings is the safest option to stem the transmission," Protect the Warriors (a doctors' forum fight the pandemic) secretary ENT consultant Dr Abhik Ghosh said.

Doctors have been issuing warnings that the state might see a tsunami of COVID-19 infections if people are not restricted from gatherings during this year's Durga Puja festival.

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"Look, we all have to be responsible. People must understand the situation and realise why the court had to intervene. I think puja committees and the administration must ensure proper implementation of the order and stem the transmission of the disease," Dr Apurba Ghosh of the Institute of Child Health said.

West Bengal, where the number of daily infections witnessed a decline mid-August till early September, has been registering record spike of new infections every day following people going for a shopping spree at malls and market places for the festivities.

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Incidentally, the forum, earlier this month, had written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, urging her to take strict measures to restrict public gathering during Durga puja, as it might "lead to a tsunami" of infections.

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    "This is going to do good for everyone. I hope puja committees will adhere to the court's order religiously and restrict crowd gatherings. I will also request people to stay indoors this Puja and avoid gatherings," a senior doctor at the state health department said.

    The Calcutta High Court on Monday has declared all pandals across West Bengal no-entry zones to prevent the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state. West Bengal has reported 3,29,057 COVID-19 cases and 6,180 deaths from the viral disease so far.

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