Coronavirus | Mamata Banerjee demands �1,500 crore package to deal with crisis

 thehindu.com  03/25/2020 16:34:33  3

No new case of Coronavirus was reported in West Bengal in the past 24 hours, the official bulletin of the State Heath Department said on Wednesday.

Also read | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

The number of positive cases in the city remains nine. It includes one person who died of the infection on Monday. During the past 24 hours, reports of tests on 66 persons were received. Ninety-seven persons were quarantined in the last 24 hours and the total number of people in hospital isolation stood at 313.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sought 1500 crore package from the Centre to deal with the outbreak. Speaking to journalists at the State secretariat during the day, she said she had not received any help from the Centre and the State was finding it difficult to manage with its limited resources. What was required was a special financial package, a special health package and a special food package.

The State, she said, had already announced a package of 200 crore, which was not sufficient. She said the State government had set up a State Emergency Relief Fund and urged corporates and individuals to contribute.

Watch | Your COVID-19 queries answered

Distancing is not isolation

The Chief Minister said markets would remain open and police personnel would be asked not to stop those bringing essential items like vegetables to the markets. Physical distancing does not mean isolation of people. We have to ensure that we dont isolate people. The Chief Minister said action would be taken against policemen who stop those delivering essentials like food and vegetables.

She said no doctor or heath care professional would be targeted by landlords or other members of the community. In case of anyone facing a shortage of food they should contact the local Block Development Officer (BDO) or Inspector in Charge of the local police station. There is no food scarcity. We are asking ration shops to open and rations under public distribution system will be released for a month, she said.

Watch | What is contact tracing?

Asked about the Centre invoking provisions of the National Disaster Management Act, Ms. Banerjee said the State government had the right to decide whether some provisions could be relaxed after reviewing the situation on March 31.

871 arrested

Meanwhile, there was a near total shutdown in Kolkata and the districts on Wednesday. City police arrested 871 people in the past 24 hours for violating the State government notification. There were a few incidents of violence, including one at Salt Lake where a women attacked a police personnel when the police intercepted her vehicle.

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