21/05/2020 12:36 PM IST | Updated 21/05/2020 12:37 PM IST

West Bengal Active Coronavirus Cases At 1,714 As Mamata Says Amphan A Bigger Crisis

On Wednesday the state reported three more coronavirus deaths.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
A woman gestures at her mother upon her arrival at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport from Bangladesh under the Vande Bharat Mission repatriation initiative, on May 18, 2020 in Kolkata, India. 

West Bengal reported three more Covid-19 deaths and 142 new patients tested positive for the novel coronavirus even as cyclone Amphan left a trail of destruction in the state. 

In Kolkata alone 5,000 people were moved to shelter homes because of the cyclone, and were handed over masks and maintained social distancing norms. 

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that the destruction left by cyclone Amphan was much larger than the Covid-19 crisis in the state. 

“We are facing greater damage and devastation than the CoVID-19,” Banerjee said. 

Her remarks come even as the state’s handling of the pandemic has been criticised from all quarters. 

Meanwhile, shops and other businesses opened from today, after the government had announced relaxations for them on Monday. 

1,714 active cases

With the 142 fresh cases being announced in the bulletin on Wednesday, the number of active cases in the state rose to 1,714. The total number of cases reported from the state added up to 3,103. 

While the death toll in the state bulletin was projected at 181, without counting the 72 deaths of Covid-19 positive patients who also had co-morbid conditions, the union health ministry added those and put the death toll at 253. 

The bulletin said that on Wednesday 62 patients were discharged, taking the total number of discharged patients to 1,163. 

Kolkata shelter homes sanitised 

Reports said that as many as 5,000 people were taken into shelter homes across Kolkata because of cyclone Amphan. 

This was cause for concern because of the pandemic. However, The Telegraph reported that the homes were cleaned with sodium hypochlorite solution before people were let inside the homes. 

The report said that evacuees were also given masks as they entered. 

Shops in clean zones opened today

As announced by the West Bengal government, shops in clean zones can open from today. 

Police officials said on Wednesday that shops outside of malls in clean zones do not need passes to open. 

Subhankar Sinha Sarkar, joint commissioner (headquarters), told The Telegraph, “No passes or permission will be needed to open shops outside affected zones. They will have to follow the basic rules of distancing and the restrictions on the number of customers, apart from the directives on staff strength mentioned in the government order.”

The report said that the government had mandated that shops could only take in five people at a time and they had to keep at a distance of 6 feet.