Bengal government postpones ‘Duare Sarkar’ rollout of student credit cards


With West Bengal experiencing an increase in Covid-19 cases, the state government has decided to postpone its “Duare Sarkar” program until further notice. The initiative, aimed at bringing government services to people’s doorsteps, was scheduled to be undertaken statewide from January 2.

The state government officially communicated on Saturday its decision to postpone the initiative indefinitely.

“(The) ‘Duare Sarkar’ program has been postponed for the time being and will be held thereafter. The dates of this will be communicated in due course, ”a notice published by the government indicated on Saturday.

Citing the rise in Covid cases, the government has also postponed the distribution of student credit cards which was due to start on January 3. Administration sources said parts of the state are moving towards a “mini-lockdown” thanks to the introduction of micro-containment zones.

Meanwhile, loudspeaker policemen were deployed to the city streets on New Year’s Day and warned revelers against dropping their masks. At the Kolkata Zoological Garden and the Victoria Memorial, which are popular with New Year’s crowds, police have been seen asking visitors to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

Until they were pressured by the men in uniform to wear masks, many were reluctant to do so.

Dealing with a sobering note about the city’s festive mood, the health department released a bulletin saying the state had recorded 4,51 new cases in the past 24 hours, up from 3,451 cases on Friday. Calcutta alone had 2,398 recorded cases on Saturday.

The state also reported nine new Covid-related deaths, bringing its overall toll to 19,773.

The state also recorded 1,913 new recoveries in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number to 16 09,924, according to the health report. The recovery rate now stands at 97.99%, while the number of active cases is 13,300.

While Kolkata accounted for the bulk of the new cases on Saturday, five other districts – Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah – recorded 3,793 cases together.

A total of 37,542 swab samples were tested for Covid-19 on Saturday.

Aroop Biswas tested positive, stable

State Energy Minister Aroop Biswas was hospitalized on Saturday after testing positive for Covid-19, an official said. “He has mild symptoms and is being given antibodies. A doctor said. His condition was declared stable.


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