Corona cases cross 500-mark in Howrah

Kolkata, May 18 (IANS) Despite West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's special attention to slow down the increasing figures, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Kolkata's twin Howrah district crossed 500 as the state entered its fourth phase of lockdown on Monday.

According to sources in the state health department, the Covid-19 cases touched 511 in the district, till Sunday, affecting a large part of north and central Howrah with fresh cases doubling up in every four days.

Earlier in the second phase of lockdown, the Chief Minister had given a 14-days deadline to the district administration saying, “I don't know about anything. I want the district to turn into orange zone and the green from the red. How will you guys do it, it is completely your call. I want Howrah to be a green zone.”

There are 76 Covid containment zones in Howrah district with a large part of Salkia area identified as a micro-spot. Ironically, the state secretariat Nabanno, from where Mamata Banerjee controls her entire state machinery, is also located in Howrah — a high-risk Covid-19 districts that has failed to come out of the red zone tag in last two months.

Even after so many days of lockdown, the district has failed to tackle the situation. No significant steps have been taken to control the rising Corona figures. Many police personnel including Railway Protection Force (RPF) jawans got affected by Covid-19 in the district too.

Sources said two officials of Howrah police station had tested positive with Covid-19 on Sunday. Earlier, as many as 16 officers of Howrah's Shibpur police station and two officers of Santragachi police station were affected by the Coronavirus.

Two RPF jawans were tested positive with Covid-19 symptoms in one of eastern India's major railheads Howrah railway station last week. They were admitted to the Railway Orthopaedic Hospital. The duo was posted at the north post of Howrah station's old complex. About 20 RPF jawans were sent to institutional quarantine after the incident.

At least 38 people were tested positive with Covid-19 symptoms and over 50 had been quarantined from a particular pocket in Howrah as community suspected spread was reported. The incident took place at 82/2 Narasingha Dutta Road in the district. They all used to work as sweepers with the Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC). All 38 Covid-19 patients had been admitted to various Covid hospitals in the district. They are now undergoing treatments at Sanjibani Hospital at Phuleswar, ILS Hospital and Satyabala ID Hospital.

There are altogether five Covid hospitals in the district. According to reports, about 23 people have already died of Covid-19 from Howrah district. When asked, Howrah district Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) Bhabani Das told IANS: “I don't know about anything. I can't disclose any figure about my district. The state health departments will release the figure.”

Earlier, the Chief Minister had declared Howrah as one of the red zone districts in West Bengal, besides Kolkata, North 24-Parganas, East Midnapore etc. The district also featured in the red zone list released by the Centre. As many as 90 per cent of the state's total Covid-19 cases are from north and central Kolkata and Howrah district, she had said.



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