Bengal: With onset of Durga Puja, two police personnel succumb to Covid

Kolkata, Oct 18 (IANS) As West Bengal gears up for its biggest festival, the Durga Puja, which starts next week, the spectre of Covid-19 pandemic looms large in the state amid reports of the deaths of two Kolkata police personnel on Sunday.According to city police sources, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Siddhartha Shekhar De who was posted in the fifth armed battalion died this morning. De was tested positive for Covid-19 and admitted to a private hospital for the past few days.”We have lost our colleague ASI Siddhartha Shekhar De to Covid-19. We stand by his family members in this time of grief,” Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma tweeted.Another detective department officer of the Kolkata police Hombahadur Thapa, who was also tested positive for Covid-19 in July this year, died on Sunday.Thapa was admitted in a private hospital in south Kolkata after he was tested positive in July. A few days back his test reports came negative and he was brought back home. The doctors had advised him to be on oxygen support at home. But his condition suddenly deteriorated on Friday night and got immediately shifted to a hospital. He died in a hospital this morning.As many as 13 Kolkata Police officers have lost lives and over 3,000 affected due to Covid-19 so far, sources said.From Monday, at least 600 police personnel along with 26 police control room (PCR) vans and 13 additional heavy radio flying squads would be deployed in Kolkata and its vicinity to do crowd-management during the festive spell.Besides these, as many as 31 rapid-city patrol bikes, 16 ambulances and 73 additional CCTV cameras will be pressed into action from October 19. Police sources said that more additional forces would be deployed in various Kolkata neighbourhoods during the festive days depending on the crowd in certain particular pockets.Meanwhile, West Bengal recorded a total 3,17,053 cases of Covid-19 infections till Saturday, said the medical bulletin issued by the state government. The total number of deaths across the state also rose to 5,992 till Saturday.–IANSsbn/sdr/

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