Counselling for those under quarantine
People in Bengal who are now in quarantine at various facilities set up by the state government will undergo psychological counselling, the CM Mamata Banerjee-led government has decided. The counselling session will start at those facilities where it is easier to arrange psychologists from nearby hospitals or medical colleges, said an state health official. The chief medical officers in districts have been asked to make arrangements. It will take a few days to bring all those quarantined under this process. At present, 6,889 persons are in quarantine at state-controlled facilities.
Idol makers stare at losses as cancellation rises
With a week to go for ‘Bangla Nabobarsho’ (Bengali New Year), the air is gloomy in Kumartuli, the potter’s hub in the northern part of the city, which is reeling under mounting losses due to cancellation of idol bookings triggered by lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic. While hundreds of Basanti and Annapurna idols could not be delivered to households and clubs as the celebrations had to be cancelled at the last minute. Also thousands of small Ganesha idols, which are worshipped on Bengali New Year (April 14), also remain half-finished indicating the mounting losses. Jaba Pal, a clay modeller said, “I have got at least 50 phone calls from commercial establishments informing me that they won’t buy Ganesha idol this year.” He said, “now if you take 10 more artisans like me in this area, the number of such cancellations will be 500 on an average.”
St Xavier’s College lends a helping hand
St Xavier’s College has identified several villages around its Raghavpur campus in South 24-Parganas for distributing food, essential commodities and medicines. Relief work is being carried out in eight villages. Most students on the Raghavpur campus are from neighbouring villages. Help is not only being provided to the families of students but also other villagers, said Father Dominic Savio, the principal of St Xavier’s colleges. The students are from mainly underprivileged families, sons of daily wage agriculture labourers, who are first generation learners. The number of active cases in the state stands at 69.
Diktat for drug stores in Kolkata
Retail drug stores in Kolkata and other parts of the state have been barred from storing more than 5 litres of hand sanitisers and more than 200 pieces of two-ply and three-ply surgical masks, state government officials announced. The health department order which imposed the restrictions also mentioned that a retailer could not stock more than 100 pieces of N-95 masks. The order states that masks and hand sanitisers are listed as essential commodities. A stockist or a distributor can stock up to 3,000 pieces of two-ply and three-ply surgical masks and up to 1,000 pieces of N-95 respirators.
Our correspondent in West Bengal