New Delhi: In a significant development, the West Bengal government on Monday announced to start tele-medicine services from July 1 to enable patients to consult doctors for medical help over telephone instead of visiting hospitals or clinics. The announcement to this effect was made by Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee.Also Read - Maharashtra, Karnataka, 4 Others Among 'States of Concern', Centre Rushes Teams To Review Situation

Bannerjee said her state administration is introducing tele-medicine services from July 1 to enable patients to avail medical consultation on telephone amid lockdown in the state. Also Read - Pandemic Wedding: Bengal Couple Invites Guests on Google Meet, Food to be Delivered Via Zomato

“Our health infrastructure is fully prepared to tackle COVID-19, but we put equal emphasis on effective prevention from the virus too. Social distancing, safe practices and masks are the best ways to fight the pandemic. However, we feel, procuring masks may not be feasible for many,” she said in a tweet. Also Read - Fire Breaks Out at Park Show Cinema Hall in Kolkata, No Casualties

She added that the government of West Bengal has decided to procure 3 Crore masks, which shall be provided absolutely free of cost to school students, 100-day scheme beneficiaries, frontline healthcare workers, police, fire services staff, municipalities, civic volunteers etc.

On the occasion of National Doctor’s Day 2020 on July 1, Bannerjee said she has declared it s state holiday as a mark of respect for frontline workers.

West Bengal on Sunday registered its highest single-day spike of 572 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 17,283, while the toll mounted to 639 with 10 more deaths.

Kolkata reported seven fatalities and Howrah, Purba Burdwan and Murshidabad one each, it said, adding that all the patients died due to comorbidities where COVID-19 was incidental.