Monday, 30th October 2017

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Many still don’t value rule of distance: Firhad Hakim

CMC to campaign extensively to make people understand the need to practice social-distancing

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 9.05.20, 4:32 AM
  • Updated 9.05.20, 4:32 AM
  • a min read
Firhad Hakim at the meeting of the board of administrators on Friday. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha

It is pointless to stay isolated for 23 hours and then be close to others for an hour in the market, Firhad Hakim said on Friday.

Hakim, who is now the chairman of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s board of administrators, said the civic body would campaign extensively to make people understand the need to maintain distance.

He chaired the first meeting of the board of administrators on Friday after the tenure of the elected board ended on Thursday. The government has appointed the board to carry on the civic body’s work.

At the meeting, it was decided that councillors would be appointed as ward coordinators and borough chairpersons as borough coordinators to help the CMC in its fight against the pandemic by providing it with ground-level information.

“I think some people still don't understand the need to maintain a minimum distance between two people,” Hakim said. “They think they are following distancing rules for 23 hours a day; so breaking it for an hour in the market is okay. But that is not right.”

A CMC official said crowds at markets and slums and densely-populated parts of the city were a matter of concern for the civic body. Most of the new cases are coming from such pockets, in north and

central Calcutta, the official said.

After the tenure of the elected representatives ended on Thursday there were questions on the role of the elected councillors. “As elected representatives they would know their areas better and can help with the civic body’s surveillance work to detect people with symptoms of Covid-19,” an official said.

A committee to combat Covid-19 was formed on Friday. Hakim, former deputy mayor and board member Atin Ghosh, municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed, special municipal commissioner Tapas Chowdhury and a few civic officials are part of the committee apart from two health department officials.

Containment zones

The number of containment zones in the city dropped to 319 on Thursday from 334 on Wednesday, according to the list of containment zones posted on the city police’s Facebook page.

An official of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation said places where no new cases had been reported in 21 days have been taken off the list of containment zones.

“It may again increase after collating all new cases reported on Friday,” the official said.