QKolkata: 2 New Cases of COVID-19; CM Mamata’s Views on Lockdown

Your daily lowdown of all things Kolkata.

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1. Bengal Records Two More COVID-19 Cases

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said two more persons had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Bengal over the past 24 hours.

“The total number of COVID-19 active cases was 69 till yesterday. The figure has gone up by two and reached 71. Out of these 71, a total of 61 are from 11 families,” the chief minister said at Nabanna on Wednesday.

By mentioning that majority of the patients had family connections, sources said, Mamata wanted to make it clear that the disease had not spread to larger areas in the state.

“It is clear that (the affected families) did not maintain social distance and as a result, on average, six members of the families were infected,” said the chief minister.

(Source: The Telegraph)


2. CM ‘Opinion’ on Lockdown Extension

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said “good results are gettable” if the lockdown continued till 19 May, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi had talked about an extension before clarifying that she had no opinion on the subject.

The chief minister said she didn’t know what was to happen after the lockdown ended on 14 April as scheduled.

“But Sudip Bandyopadhyay reported to me that the Prime Minister had said the lockdown might be extended… I (also) saw on Twitter, in the press. It is being said. But till we get to know officially, we cannot say anything regarding this. We are waiting and watching, doing what we must,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Bandyopadhyay, Calcutta North MP of the Trinamool Congress, had attended an all-party meeting with Modi.

(Source: The Telegraph)


3. Cops Shoot Down Liquor Home Delivery Proposal

Cops have nixed a proposal floated by the state excise department for home delivery of liquor for three hours every day. But tipplers need not be disheartened as an initiative has been started to start operations at the warehouses of the state-run Beverage Corporation (Bevco) on Wednesday.

“After the lockdown is over, Bevco will start functioning. We have received an intimation in this regard,” said an excise official. Once Bevco starts functioning, there is a possibility that retail shops, too, may be allowed to open for limited hours after 15 April. The excise department has also extended the time frame for renewal of liquor licence and registration from 31 March to 30 June.

(Source: The Times Of India)


4. Focus on Shelters for Homeless After Two Shifted to COVID Hospital

Reports of two pavement dwellers — one from Metiabruz and the other from Bowbazar — contracting novel coronavirus have prompted Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Kolkata Police to take a closer look at shelters housing more than 10,000 vagrants and homeless across the city. Civic officials and police officers are concerned since the crowded shelters do not allow social distancing. They fear the shelters could become hotspots for Covid-19 if even one person contracts the virus.

An abandoned four-storied building near the Kalighat temple that now houses 4,000 street dwellers tops the worry chart and civic officials as well as cops are desperately trying to find a way to prevent it from turning into a Covid cluster.

Among the proposals doing the rounds is regular thermal checks to identify a person if he or she develops fever and then isolate the group till the person is tested. With only a handful attendants at the centre, KMC health department officials are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping the situation does not go out of hands.

(Source: The Times Of India)


5. Celebration Funds to Feed Hungry Mouths

A day after chief minister Mamata Banerjee appealed to the people of the state to celebrate Poila Baishakh and offer Shab-e-Barat prayers at home this year to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, citizens have responded by not only cancelling all public celebrations but by also pledging to donate a big part of that money to help the section of the society impacted badly by the pandemic.

While several residential complexes across the city have cancelled all Poila Baishakh celebrations, many others have decided to redirect zakat, an Islamic levy to help the less fortunate, to help those impacted economically by the pandemic.

At Larica Tolly in the Tollygunge area, the 90 odd families have taken a collective decision to shelve Poila Baishakh celebrations and utilise the money to the help those who stay near the complex and have been impacted badly by the lockdown. “We will distribute 5kg of rice, 2kg of potatoes, 1kg onions, oil and soap among those who stay in the neighbourhood. Residents will be celebrating Poila Baishakh in their respective apartments,” said Sheikh Hassan Habib, president of the residents’ association and a medical practitioner by profession.

(Source: The Times Of India)

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