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New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that Nobel laureate and economist Abhijit Banerjee is going to come onboard an advisory panel formed by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) led state government to tackle the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

Abhijit Banerjee is going to be in an advisory role and will be engaged with formulating an economic policy to tide over the fallout of the pandemic’s spread. Nobel Economics Prize for 2019 was awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty" in October.

“We have formed a global advisory board (GAB) for Covid-19 response in West Bengal. We do not know how long this will last and what toll it will take on the economy. For that purpose the GAB has been formed," Mamata Banerjee said while holding a press interaction in Kolkata on Monday.

“For this purpose, we have appointed a few people who are renowned throughout the world for their intellect and erudition and they will be able to give this policy making body the direction it needs. We have appointed Dr Abhijit Binayak Bannerjee to the committee," she added.

The West Bengal chief minister informed that the state government has also brought Swarup Sarkar, former director of communicable diseases at World Health Organisation (WHO). “He is working with ICMR and we are coordinating with him," Banerjee added.

With covid-19 spreading across several states and the number of positive cases and death increasing the last week, both union and state governments have been looking at ways to improve the economic situation which may arise as the fallout of the pandemic and the lockdown it has led to.

As of 6 PM data on Monday, India has had a total of 4,281 cases including 3,851 active cases and 111 people have died due to the pandemic. In West Bengal alone, there have been 80 confirmed cases out of which 67 are active and it has led to death of three people.

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