The Bengal’s grandest festival is just around the corner, people have started preparing for the 5-day festivity. However, ironically this year, there’s a 35-day long gap between Mahalaya and Shashti and phenomenon is attributed as Mala Mash or Unholy month, which is one of the reasons why the buzz about Durga Puja is missing and the ongoing pandemic leading the world to a standstill.  

No matter the hype about Durga Puja is low key, but the people are gearing up for the 5-day long festivity. Even the ongoing pandemic couldn’t hold back the shopping spear, leading to crowded shopping malls and people forgetting about social distancing. 

Doctors are worried about the aftereffect of Durga Puja which can lead to a tsunami of COVID-19 cases. Bengal doctors wrote a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to ensure the strict measure to restrict gatherings during Durga Puja. 

As Durga Puja fever overshadows COVID threat. Members of Joint Platform of Doctors, in their letter to Mamata Banerjee, said the city has witnessed a hike on COVID-19 cases after Mahalaya & Vishwakarma Puja. They have also attached a three day rolling average of new cases in the city, which showcase a steep rise of cases. 

They further said, Bengal celebrated Eid and Muharram indoors. If we do not learn from the instances of Kerala how there was a rise of cases after the Onam festival and a similar situation in Spain following a football match and International Women’s Day celebration. If we don’t take precaution during this Durga Puja, it can be suicidal. The situation may go out of hand, leading to a tsunami of cases.

The letter further said, we would like to request you (CM) to stop gathering at Pandals and people stepping out of their houses should wear masks. This two major protocols should be maintained this year. 

Dr. Konal said, this year Durga Puja shouldn’t have been organised cause of the pandemic. However, it’s not possible, so we need to take more precautions keeping in mind about the ongoing situation.