West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that trucks and lorries coming from other states might be the carriers of the coronavirus, PTI reported. She said that it was necessary to conduct forensic tests on the tyres of the trucks to check if they are infected or not.
“We should not forget that Jhargram shares border with Jharkhand,” the chief minister said during an administrative meeting in the district. “There are trucks from Mumbai, Chennai and other states passing through the district. We can conduct forensic tests on the tyres of a couple of lorries that pass through the toll plaza to see if the virus is spreading through these.”
She said that truck drivers’ should carry their own food as the virus spreads when they stop at dhabas or eateries. “If they want to eat in dhabas, proper sanitisation and health protocol should be followed there,” the chief minister said, while asking the district administration to prepare a plan for the same.
Banerjee acknowledged concerns widely voiced by public health experts about airborne transmission of the virus. “We actually do not have a clear idea [of] how it is spreading, if it can get transmitted from the bag we are using in the market or from the clothes...The only thing that we can do is take appropriate precautionary measures,” she added. “And since cases are on the rise in Jhargram, we have to take measures in advance.”
The chief minister pointed out that people were not wearing masks in the district and said that if needed, the police can distribute them during the Durga Puja through community development programmes. The masks would be free of cost, Banerjee added.
Banerjee also asked the district administration to identify a stretch of land for the construction of a press club. She highlighted welfare schemes started by the ruling Trinamool Congress government and asked the district officials to make sure that all beneficiaries receive their dues without any hassle.
Jhargram district in West Bengal has recorded 209 active coronavirus cases and 10 people have died because of the infection so far, according to a health bulletin released by the state department. A senior official added that 10 of the 79 gram panchayats in the district were affected by the pandemic.