Kolkata diary

The school, in a notice issued to the parents on Thursday said the summer break would begin on May 10.
Kolkata diary

South Point School to close early for summer break 
Kolkata’s South Point School has decided to advance the start of the summer vacation by a week to give students, parents and teachers some respite from the raging second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. The school, in a notice issued to the parents on Thursday said the summer break would begin on May 10. Online classes would resume on May 24. “In view of continuous surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, and in order to promise some respite to our children, guardians and teachers from the raging pandemic, we have decided to bring forward the summer break,’’ said the notice from the principal.

Jadavpur Univ offers to turn hostel into Covid centre
The Jadavpur University in a letter to the West Bengal government has proposed to turn its main hostel, located behind the Jadavpur police station, into an isolation centre for those who test positive for Covid-19. Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das wrote to the health secretary Narayan Swaroop Nigam on Thursday saying the government can use over 6,000 sq ft of space in the hostel as a safe house. The hostel and the campus have been shut since March last year as a precaution against Covid-19. Classes are being held online. The decision to send the proposal was taken at a meeting held by the V-C with teachers, officials and representatives of the students’ union.

Govt allows 40% increase in hosp beds 
The state health department has allowed private hospitals and nursing homes to increase the number of beds by up to 40% in view of the rising number of Covid-19 patients in need of medical care. “This is a great decision by the state health department. It will help the fight against the raging pandemic. Earlier, there were 180 Covid-19 beds among a total of 345 beds. Now the number of Covid beds has been increased to 227,’’ said Dr Simmardeep Singh Gill, the group chief operating officer of CK Birla Hospitals.

St Xavier’s alumni sets up Covid helpline
The St Xavier’s College Alumni Association, in collaboration with the college, has opened a Covid help desk on the campus to help families who have tested positive, especially those from economically weaker sections. The volunteers managing the help desk will arrange oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, pulse oximeters, PPE kits, hand sanitisers and other essential commodities and provide the items to those unable to procure them. The help desk contact number that became operational on Wednesday is 7439955182. 

pranab mondal
Our correspondent in West Bengal

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