State home secretary Alapan Bandhopadhyay, who became the nodal officer for Kolkata on Monday, chaired a meeting with top KMC, health and police officers on Tuesday to decide on containment measures. Working on a “holistic plan”, the administrators would meet daily to take stock of the ground situation, an official hinted.
At the meeting, Bandopadhyay indicated that the state health department would develop a web portal for better coordination between state and private hospitals. He also said KMC and the Kolkata Police control rooms would be better connected while, stricter norms would be imposed on containment zones and the number of safe houses and quarantine centres would be increased. Bandopadhyay stressed on better collection of information relating to virus spread and treatment. of Covid patients.
According to a senior police officer, the KMC commissioner was likely to hold another meeting with the special commissioner and joint commissioner (headquarters) of the Kolkata Police in the next 48 hours before finalizing the new containment zones. The city currently has 28 containment zones. “We have been making necessary additions and omissions to the list every day, at the micro level. But it has been decided that the overall changes in the nature or number of containment zones, if any, will be announced only after a week of the containment zones coming into existence to study its effectiveness,” said a senior police officer.
Sources said a few areas in the north, especially in the Jorabagan-Girish Park belt, along with parts of Tollygunge-Jadavpur and Behala, are under “specific watch”. “There has been a spike in the number of Covid cases there and so, the need for larger containment zones are being discussed. But no decision has yet been taken. Similarly, particular clusters within containment zones in Maniktala, Phoolbagan, Bhowanipore and Sakherbazar, where the mandatory two weeks have passed without any new case, is likely to be taken off the list,” an official said.
The other measures being looked into are gathering of Covid information at the ward level, better coordination between KMC and police control rooms, increasing the scope of satellite centres and paid safe houses, where patients with minimal symptoms, can be quarantined and improving coordination between government and private hospitals following allegations of patients—Covid and otherwise—not receiving proper treatment. “The idea of starting an online solution was mooted,” said an officer.