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37,000 Durga pujas across Bengal: Can the state avoid a Covid-19 surge?

This year, 37,000 pujas will be organised across Bengal, including 2,509 in Kolkata, even as the fifth phase of the "Unlock" is underway

People offer prayers on the occasion of Maha Saptami at a puja pandal during Durga Puja festival, in Kolkata, Tuesday
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The Calcutta High Court stepped in on October 19 and ordered that no one except organisers be allowed inside pandals.

Srijita Datta | IndiaSpend
As Durga Puja festivities begin, experts warn that the West Bengal government’s guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19 during the state’s biggest festival would only work if there is less crowding. Many are worried about COVID-19 superspreader events and a possible spread to districts that currently have lower infection prevalence.

This year, 37,000 pujas will be organised across Bengal, including 2,509 in Kolkata, even as the fifth phase of the “Unlock” is under way. Last year’s pujo season saw 2,500 pandals across Kolkata alone that raked up six million visitors, said Partha Dutta, sergeant, Kolkata Traffic Police.

Updated guidelines were issued

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First Published: Oct 20 2020 | 11:28 AM IST

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