The rise in Covid-19 cases in the districts of North Bengal has led the state health department and the respective district administration to work out new plans to combat the ongoing second wave of the pandemic, while at the same time trying to expand health facilities for patients.

In Jalpaiguri, the administration has increased bed capacity in various hospitals and safe houses across the district and is now working to improve oxygen supply.

“In total, we’re adding around 1,000 extra beds in these hospitals and safe houses. This increases the bed capacity in the district to 1,450 and more patients can be treated. Beds include general beds and beds with CCU and HDU facilities, ”a district administration official said.

On Wednesday, Moumita Godara Basu, the district judge, held a meeting with health officials and representatives from three authorities in the district.

“Oxygen systems will soon be built in a number of hospitals. In the meantime, we’ve decided to use cylinders in some of these locations to provide oxygen to patients. Accordingly, the administration and the police have put together around 100 cylinders from industrial plants, and more will be set up in due course, ”she said.

The district administration has also taken on the task of starting vaccinating transport workers and street vendors.

“After the Prime Minister’s announcement, we will start vaccinating these people. Instructions were given to create a database (of transport workers and street vendors). The authorities will help in this regard, ”added the DM.

In the neighboring district of Alipurduar, the block administration of Kalchini has taken the first initiative of this kind in tea gardens.

Kalchini’s BDO, Prashanta Burman, said they had started doing swab tests on residents in tea gardens as of Wednesday.

“There are 21 tea gardens in my block. With thousands living in these gardens and migrant workers returning home, we believe this assessment (of the spread of Covid) is necessary so that appropriate precautions can be taken in due course, ”Burman said.

In Malda, 274 new cases and four deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours. There are currently around 2,600 active cases in the district.

The spike in Covid cases has resulted in Malda’s administration shutting down prominent “haats” (weekly rural markets) across the district for the next two weeks. “We will review the situation later,” said Rajarshi Mitra, DM, Malda.

The pandemic situation has also caused the Id celebration committee in Kaliachak in Malda to cancel the mega meeting on the Idgah grounds in Noi Mouza in Sujapur. It is considered the second largest gathering in the state after the Red Street in Calcutta on the occasion of Id

“Almost a lakh offers prayers here on the day of Id-ul-Fitr. But this time we canceled it and made public announcements to get people’s attention. We urge people to pray in local mosques or at home with minimal gathering to avoid infection, ”said Hamidur Rahaman, secretary of the Noi Mouza Idgah Prayer Committee.

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