Kolkata Slum Becomes First Corona Hotspot To Be Sealed In Bengal   

by Swarajya Staff - Apr 14, 2020 02:16 PM +05:30 IST
Kolkata Slum Becomes First Corona Hotspot To Be Sealed In Bengal   Belgachia Metro station board
Snapshot
  • KMC teams have started sanitizing the maze of alleys and lanes, walls of tenements, common toilets, doorways and other touchpoints in Belgachia.

    Muslim clerics have been roped in to help convince the residents to follow current Covid-19 protocols.

A slum spread over one square kilometer in North Kolkata and home to over 30,000 people has become the first Covid-19 hotspot in West Bengal. The sprawling slum — Belgachia — has been sealed and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has launched an intensive house-to-hour health survey there.

All lanes leading out of or into the entire area have been barricaded and police pickets have been posted at each barricade. Residents of this minority-dominated are being asked to stay in their houses and local clerics from mosques have been drafted to get people to adhere to lockdown directives.

The lockdown of the slum comes after detection of a few Covid-19 positive cases from there. There is, however, no clarity as yet on how many cases have been detected in this area. Reports suggest that a number of people from the slum have been shifted to a quarantine facility in New Town.

KMC teams have started sanitizing the maze of alleys and lanes, walls of tenements, common toilets, doorways and other touchpoints in Belgachia. Other teams of the civic body are delivering foodgrains and vegetables to the doorsteps of residents

Police have pressed drones into service to keep a strict watch over the entire area and announcements are being made regularly over the public address system urging people to stay indoors. Prominent Muslim religious leaders from other parts of the city have been roped in to appeal to the people of Belgachia to strictly observe the lockdown.

Health department and KMC teams are visiting each household to record body temperatures of the residents and identify those with symptoms of Covid-19 infection.

It is not known if any of the residents of Belgachia who have been detected with the coronavirus had attended the Tablighi Jamaat markaz at Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month. Bengal has steadfastly refused to divulge any details about the Nizamuddin-returnees.

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