January 23, 2022 5:28:59 am
The ‘Diamond Harbour Model’ of Covid-19 management, an initiative by Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee to contain the pandemic in his Lok Sabha constituency, dragged down the positivity rate from 20 per cent to just one per cent in two weeks, P Ulganathan, the district magistrate of South 24 Parganas district, has informed.
The young MP, who is the nephew of party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has been proactive in a bid to put a leash on the pandemic in his constituency. As part of his Covid management plan, control rooms were opened in every block, panchayat and municipal ward in the South 24 Parganas. ‘Doctors on Wheels’, a service guaranteeing emergency medical response to Covid-affected people, was also launched in five blocks of the district. Also, as part of the plan to contain the spread of the pandemic in the area, more than 50,000 swab samples were tested on January 12, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The aggressive containment measures are showing the desired results as the infection rate, according to the district administration, is down to 1 per cent.
“MP Abhishek Bandyopadhyay chaired a meeting in our district. He instructed us to take new steps. Every gram panchayat has opened a control room, introduced the ‘Doctors on Wheels’ service and directed a lot of tests. He ordered the markets to be closed for two days and mandatory use of double masks. He also asked the local administration, including panchayats and corporations, to work towards containing the spread of Covid-19,” Ulganathan said.
“With the administration, police, health workers and local leaders working as a team, we got great results in two weeks. The positivity rate decreased from 20 per cent to 1 per cent. We took several containment measures earlier as well but not everyone was in a position to work in unison. However, this was made possible under the leadership of the MP,” he added.
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Heaping praise on the ‘Diamond Harbour Model’, Trinamool youth leader Debangshu Bhattacharya wrote on Facebook, “Abhishek da is showing revolution. If the state government follows this model, the world will get an example how Bengal is fighting against Corona.”
While winning praise from a section of leaders, Abhishek’s model to fight the pandemic stoked a leadership debate inside the ruling party, with Serampore MP Kalyan Banerjee accusing the Diamond Harbour MP toeing the BJP line.
However, Abhishek put an end to the debate, saying, “Kalyan Banerjee said Mamata Banerjee is his only leader. I am also saying the same. He has the freedom to speak his mind, which goes to show that we practice democracy in the party.”
Meanwhile, West Bengal recorded 9,191 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking its tally of infections to 19,58,265. According to a bulletin issued by the health department on Saturday, the state also saw 37 fresh Covid-related fatalities taking the toll thus far to 20,302.
The state also reported 20,313 recoveries in the past 24 hours. With the fresh recoveries, the number of people cured of the infection rose to 18,14,306 the bulletin said. The recovery rate now stands at 92.65 percent, while the active cases are at 1,23,675.
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