HOWRAH: On Sunday, residents of a large section in Howrah will wake up to messages on their phones, social media and TV sets announcing that they will not be allowed to step out of home, even to buy essentials. A complete lockdown is being imposed in four police station areas that have been marked sensitive, with Howrah Police launching a weeklong ‘Operation Covid Zero’ from midnight. Every resident of these areas will be screened. While those showing symptoms will be removed to quarantine facilities, those testing positive will be shifted to isolation units.
The four police station areas that have been identified as super sensitive are, Malipanchghora, Golabari, Howrah and Shibpur. All markets have been sealed here and shops and business establishments have been asked to stay shut. In addition, a buffer zone of four more police stations have been created with Dasnagar, Bantra, Liluah and Belur police stations having been brought under the net.
The police expect that this complete containment will finally help bring the curve of the contagion down. A meeting was eld by Howrah Police on Saturday to chal out micro-level planning and do mapping of lanes and bylanes of the affected areas. Only doorstep deliveries will happen here from Sunday.
Through messages from Sunday morning, residents will get area-wise relevant numbers of shops and vendors and also volunteers who will do the delivery. Every club and puja committee in these areas has been roped in for this and the councillors of the affected wards of the Howrah Municipal Corporation have also been involved, along with food and grocery aggregators who are providing the service via smart control rooms.
“Supplies will now be just a phone call away. We have named our volunteers ‘Lockdown Soldiers’ and have set up a fool proof network of carrying essentials home,” said police commissioner Kunal Agarwal. Initially, the police had shifted out markets to nearby fields but that failed to check crowding. Hence, some key markets like Shibpur, Kadamtala, Kalibabu, Salkia, Liluah, Belur and Ramrajatala were sealed off. “We have given cycle vans and totos to vendors in these markets for doorstep selling,” said Priyabrata Roy, DC of police (HQ).
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