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Coronavirus lockdown: Tripura to set up community kitchen, provide free food to urban homeless

The state Food and Civil Supplies Department has also been asked to arrange for rice and pulses to all district authorities for the emergency food supply.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Updated: March 25, 2020 9:27:33 pm
Agartala: Police personnel stop commuters after the state government enforced lockdown in the city amid coronavirus pandemic, in Agartala, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI24-03-2020_000282B)

With the entire country under lockdown to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, Tripura has asked self-help groups and public service foundations to provide cooked food packets for the urban homeless and urban poor.

Urban Development Director Shailesh Kumar Yadav issued an order directing Municipal Commissioners, Chief Executive Officers (CEO), and Executive Officers of the 20 urban local bodies of the state to set up kitchens for preparing cooked food like ‘khichdi’ at a single location in every urban body.

“Any good ALF of SHG under DAY-National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) may be deployed for cooking and making food packets. Distribution of food packets to be urban poor twice daily may be done by using one or more dedicated vehicles by the respective urban local bodies”, the order read. Follow coronavirus India lockdown LIVE updates

Yadav stressed on all the urban bodies to ensure that there is no gathering of people at any place during the distribution process. The distribution staff would be provided with gloves and hand sanitisers during the job.

The state Food and Civil Supplies Department has also been asked to arrange for rice and pulses to all district authorities for the emergency food supply.

Meanwhile, the state government has set up control rooms in all eight districts for coordinating information pertaining to the coronavirus. An emergency number – 102 – was activated to manage all queries about life saving emergency ambulance service. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb launched 50 such ambulances on Wednesday; several among these would be used for handling patients, who might be affected with COVID-19.

Police arrests lockdown violators

On the second day of lockdown for coronavirus in Tripura, the state police and other law enforcement agencies applied force to enforce lockdown curfew as violators were seen loitering in Agartala and other parts of the state.

Agartala: Police personnel (L) beat a scooterist with batons as they enforce complete lockdown for containing the spread of the novel coronavirus, in Agartala, March 25, 2020. (PTI Photo) (PTI25-03-2020_000106A)

West Tripura Additional SP Manik Lal Saha said those found moving without emergency purposes were arrested and booked. He said ninety per cent people found in the streets were found to have emergency purposes and were allowed. However, many people, who didn’t wish to be named, said they were beaten by police and para-military personnel for violating the lockdown curfew.

Sufficient medical supplies available, more on the way: Health Secretary

While a section of government doctors have alleged that protective gears and sanitary supplies like hand sanitisers are severely lacking in government hospitals, Health Secretary Debashish Basu said sufficient stocks are in place and more supplies are on the way. 350 kg medical protective gears would be flown in via chopper on Thursday, he said. Meanwhile, the state has currently got stocks of 7,180 three layer masks, 310 PPE kits, 391 N95 masks, 150 gloves and hand sanitisers.

Tripura Government Doctors Association (TGDA) general secretary Rajesh Choudhury said in a long socal media post that most healthcare personnel are lacking protective gears in the line of duty. Criticizing senior officials for reading out ‘memorized protocols’, the doctor wrote, “Kuch Theek Nahin Hain, Sir”.

Eleven high risk patients were identified who travelled in the same aircraft with a girl from Manipur, who was later tested COVID-19 positive. But their test reports are yet to arrive.

So far, nobody has tested positive for the coronavirus in the state.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: Are smokers at high risk form coronavirus? | Can Vitamin-C prevent or cure coronavirus infection? | What exactly is community spread of coronavirus? | How long can the Covid-19 virus survive on a surface? | Amid the lockdown, what is allowed, what is prohibited?

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