The first consignment of Covishield vaccines arrived in Kolkata on Tuesday. The Home Department tweeted, “First consignment of 6.89 lakh Covishield vaccines shall be arriving today in our state at 2:30 PM by a special cargo flight of Spicejet at Kolkata airport.”
The vaccination in the first phase for frontline medical staff will start from January 16. The State’s Home Department also added that these “vaccines shall be stored at our Central Vaccines Store at Baghbazar and will be then transported to different districts for vaccination of Health Care Workers as per priority”.
Meanwhile, the State added 751 COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours taking the total cases to 5,62,072. Only Kolkata and North 24 Parganas have recorded more than 200 new cases in the past 24 hours.
The State recorded 18 deaths in the past 24 hours taking the total number of fatalities to 9,975 . Of the total deaths in the State about 83.9% (8369) deceased had co-morbidities. The discharge rate in the State improved to 96.91% and the number of active cases stands at 7,392. The State is testing about 35,000 samples a day and the case positivity ratio remains at 7.5 %.
Ganga Sagar mela
Meanwhile, the State has made elaborate arrangements for the annual Ganga Sagar pilgrimage, which gets lakhs of visitors. The Calcutta High Court had last week pointed out that the administration should ensure widespread publicity informing the pilgrims that they should stay away from Ganga waters. The pilgrimage is observed on the Sagar island in the Sunderbans archipelago at the confluence of river Ganga and the sea. Pilgrims from all over the country take a dip at the confluence of the river and the sea on Makar Sankranti.
The West Bengal government has opened a control room for Ganga Sagar mela at the State secretariat) which will be functional round the clock.
An isolation facility for pilgrims testing positive for COVID-19 has also been set up. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that all pilgrims and personnel of the State government will be provided an insurance cover of ₹5 lakh from January 12 to January 17.