QKolkata: People Should Get Dailies, Says Mamata; Essentials Hit

Your daily lowdown of all things Kolkata.

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1. Govt Wants People to Get Dailies: Mamata

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reasserted the people’s right to have access to newspapers and stressed the media’s status as an essential service exempted from the lockdown.

“Those running newspapers, those who want to take newspapers, there should be no problem…. The hawkers could be given a card from the newspapers concerned -– cards that read “Press/Media” -– and they should be recognised by the police,” Mamata said at Nabanna after a review meeting.

The chief minister’s comments came at a time vendors associated with some unions in Calcutta and elsewhere in Bengal are refusing to pick up newspapers for distribution till March 31 in the wake of rumours and misinformation on social media regarding the spread of Covid-19.

(Source: The Telegraph)


2. Supply of Essentials Takes a Hit as Goods Vehicles Stay Off Roads

Many wholesale outlets in Posta and Burrabazar — the main source of rice, atta, maida, sugar, potatoes and oil — remained shut on Wednesday as small goods vehicles, an important link in the delivery chain, were off the road allegedly following instructions from police.

This impacted the availability of essential edibles in retail markets where flour and sugar went out of stock on Wednesday. While shopowners said more staples could go off the shelf if the supply chain is not revived, wholesalers claimed they had enough stock but nobody to ferry the goods.

After a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, when chief minister Mamata Banerjee stressed that action will be taken against cops who stop vehicles carrying essential items, Lalbazar hinted they might introduce a pass system.

(Source: The Times Of India)


3. Fear Grips Health Workers in Absence of Protective Gear

Foot soldiers in the fight against coronavirus — doctors, nurses and health workers — are extremely worried about falling prey to easy transmission from Covid-19 patients in the absence of adequate protective gear (personal pretection equipment or PPE) at city hospitals. The concern has been triggered by a shortage of PPE — masks, gloves and gowns, which are now mandatory for medics — at several private and state hospitals in the city.

Murmurs of discontent have been getting louder across hospital corridors in Kolkata ever since PPE supplies started drying up last week following a sudden spurt in demand. The first public vent came on Wednesday when a section of nurses at the Beliaghata ID Hospital — epicentre of the state’s fight against the outbreak — demanded more PPE cover and threatened ceasework. They alleged they were being forced to work without PPE and made to travel in ambulances carrying Covid-19 suspects. They were pacified and made to return to work with the assurance that their grievances would be addressed.

(Source: The Times Of India)


4. Consumers’ Ordeal Worsens as E-Grocers Blame Local Crackdown

Five days after placing an order for atta, edible oil and sugar on an e-grocery app, Sweta Palit, a senior citizen from Maniktala, received a message on Wednesday that her order had been cancelled due to “unforeseen circumstances”. With deliveries getting delayed or cancelled, many online grocery buyers like Palit are facing a tough time. Overburdened e-grocers have blamed it on restrictions imposed by local authorities on the movement of delivery staff and goods and sudden rush in demand.

Although e-grocery biggies — BigBasket, Grofers and Amazon Pantry — contended that they would be offering priority items among the existing orders owing to unprecedented surge in demand, many customers in the state are still counting days to get the deliveries. Like every month, Meera Banerjee, a homemaker in Naktala, was trying to place an order for some essential items like rice and pulses on BigBasket. But, she was told there were no slots available for delivery. “Now, as they have stopped taking orders, I am worried about replenishing my stock,” Banerjee said.

(Source: The Times Of India)


5. Cab Stopped, Woman Licks Cop Uniform

A woman travelling in an app cab allegedly bit her own tongue and licked the uniform of a policeman when she was stopped at a checkpoint in Salt Lake during the lockdown on Wednesday.

The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon in an area that falls under Bidhannagar North police station.

The woman was arrested.

The car was stopped for routine check and the occupants were asked to explain why they had stepped out despite the lockdown.

The woman allegedly bit her tongue and licked the cop’s white uniform near his stomach, leaving a bloodstain.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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Topics:  News Wrap   kolkata news 

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