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Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee recommends sanitisation of people before entering markets

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on April 07, 2020

Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee, has suggested that the West Bengal government look at proper sanitisation of people during their entry and exit from market places at the time of Covid-19 outbreak. He asked the State government to promote use of face masks too.

The Indian-origin economist and Nobel Laureate is a part of the committee set up by the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee. The advisory committee will look into socio-economic fallout of the pandemic and suggest solutions.

Speaking to the Chief Minister, via video conferencing, the economist said, sanitisation should include use of hand sanitisers or regular washing when people enter a market place; or even leaving one. They should walk through fumigation channels and maintain social distancing.

“Countries such as South Korea or Taiwan have been particular in ensuring such social distancing norms and also santisation for people entering and leaving market places. These can be replicated here in Bengal too with the right usage of face masks,” he said.

His suggestions came after the Chief Minister reiterated that kisaan mandis (farmer markets), weekly village markets and flower markets - Kolkata is home to the largest wholesale flower market in Asia – remain open and there be relaxation of lockdown rules for vehicles carrying essentials, farm items and flowers.

Covid-19 cases

Most wholesale and local markets in the State have operated “as usual” during this period. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister announced that seven Covid-19 hotspots have been identified and “containment operations” are on.

“We need not share details of the hotspots at the moment. Names could change. However, containment operations are on,” Mamata Banerjee said.

She also refused to take questions on the number of attendees or those affected because of the Tablighi Jamaat organised event in Delhi. While other States have been extremely clear in giving out details on Covid-19 cases from among the participants of the religious event, the Chief Minister snubbed the media with a quick retort: “Do not ask communal questions.” .

West Bengal has so far reported 69 active Covid-19 cases and a death toll of 5.

Published on April 07, 2020

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