Kolkata police today said that Park Street is in a “buffer zone” and not in a “containment zone”, as it was being termed. Clarifying the categorisation, a senior officer said that the way the novel coronavirus is spreading, no landmark area in the city is safe from the onslaught.

“Yes, some confusion was there initially since the reports of a number of positive cases were pouring in from the neighbouring areas but finally Park Street was designated as a buffer zone in consultation with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to prevent further spread of the virus,” said an officer.

According to sources in Lalbazar, areas in the vicinity of Park Street have been categorised into two zones: one is a contaiment area and the other is buffer zone.

While areas like Lord Sinha Road, Short Street , Collin Lane, New Park Street , Elliot Road, Mirza Ghalib Street are in the core containment zones, areas such as Park Street, Camac Street, Shakespeare Sarani, Rowdon Street and Loudon Street had been classified as “buffer zones.

Clearing the air on the concept of buffer zone, an officer said a buffer zone is created with an eye to prevent the further spread of the virus with residents residing in the zone being advised to conduct extreme caution.

Park Street is among the first of the prominent boulevards in city so far to have earned the nomenclature of a “buffer zone”, concerns notwithstanding, with reports of coronavirus positive cases from neighbouring areas like Loudon Street, Rawdon Street, Short Street, Colin Lane, Lord Sinha Road, Elliot Road, and Mirza Ghalib Street still pouring in.

However, a senior officer at Lalbazar and a sergeant at the city police traffic department said that only a 200 metre stretch at the eastern end of Mallikbazar area had been barricaded since only one Covid-19 pasitive case was reported from that area.

The area beyond that stretch was left untouched and kept open for vehicular traffic to ply. “No stringent measures like those taken to ensure complete lockdown in containment zones had been initiated in the entire Park Street area. None of the entry or exit rules enforced in containment zones had been put in place here,”, said the officer.

HCQ to be given to KMC workers, traders:

KMC is to set up four quarantine centres for persons who have come in contact with a Covid-19 positive patient while ‘hydroxychloroquine’ will be administered tomorrow, in the presence of doctors, to residents of KMC’s labour quarters and to traders in city markets who do not have any heart or retina ailments, as a preventive against the coronavirus.

It is learnt that the chairman of the board of administrators of KMC, Mr Firhad Hakim, after a meeting today, reportedly announced that the municipal body will spend around Rs 40 lakh for the facilities that will be set up at Rajarhat and in Baltikuri in Howrah.

A closed down hospital facility at EM Bypass is among the buildings to be used as quarantine centres. The chairman will visit the Rajarhat facility tomorrow. Mr Hakim has further stated that from now on if one is affected with the coronavirus, only their building will be a containment zone instead of the nearby areas being shut.

The same will happen in cases in slums. The section which has the residence with a Covid-19 positive patient, will be made a containment zone instead of closing down a considerable portion of the surrounding lanes or roads. This is done to reduce inconvenience for people.

Meanwhile, it was decided that hydroxychloroquine’ will be administered to traders in city markets such as Burrabazar, to those who do not have any heart or retina ailments. The civic body has reportedly administered the drug to around 25,000 people in the city, mostly its own workers.