Wear masks, keep COVID at bay while pandal hopping: Mamata urges people



KOLKATA: Emphasising the necessity of wearing face masks to keep the spread of COVID-19 in check, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday urged everyone to be careful while pandal hopping as the pandemic is still around.

The chief minister appealed to people while inaugurating two Durga Puja pandals in south Kolkata on Wednesday.

“I request people visiting the pandals during the festival to wear masks even if they are fully vaccinated. Some people are testing positive for COVID-19, even after being administered both doses of the vaccine,” she said while inaugurating the Naktala Udayan Sangha puja pandal.

At the Salimpur Pally puja inauguration, the chief minister asked the organisers to keep sufficient masks at their disposal for distributing them among visitors who come without them.

Banerjee chanted ‘shlokas’ to pay obeisance to the goddess and uttered ‘Jai Bangla’ while concluding her speech.

Amid the beats of dhak, a traditional instrument played during Durga puja festivities, Banerjee drew the eyes of the deity, a ritual known as ‘chokhudaan’, at Chetla Agrani puja patronised by her cabinet colleague Firhad Hakim.

She also urged people to be on guard as the rainy season triggers an outbreak of dengue.

The chief minister, on a Durga puja inauguration spree from ‘Mahalaya’ marking the beginning of ‘Devi Paksha’, unveiled the pandals at Jodhpur Park, 95 Pally, and Babubagan in south Kolkata.

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