The state government has said malls can remain open but the managements have to take precautions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on their premises.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said after a meeting at Nabanna that it would not be feasible to shut down the malls because many people bought their essential stuff from there.
“Only a few malls are there…. We have asked the auditoriums and the cinema halls to shut down. But some people buy food from there (stores in the malls). If I shut them down totally, there may be a scarcity of food. So, malls may work with total care. Nobody should suffer. Small gatherings (are allowed) only to purchase materials,” Mamata said at a news conference after the meeting.
The chief minister urged mall managements to take care of their employees.
“Labourers and employees who work in places such as tea gardens, jute industry, industrial parks, malls and markets must take protection. They must use sanitisers and wear masks…. They must use medicated stuff,” she said.
Malls have started taking precautions to stop the spread of the virus. At the entrance, men and women are waiting with hand sanitisers.
Cleaners are wiping elevator handrails, toilets and lift buttons with sanitisers at regular intervals. The executives at retail stores are wearing gloves and masks.
“We are disinfecting every touch point that can be a possible threat,” an official of a Beckbagan mall said.
At a mall in Kasba, men wearing gloves have been deployed to press the lift buttons.
At multiple malls, the managements said they were keeping an eye on the workers. “Anybody found running a temperature is being asked to stay home and get treated,” an official of a Lake Gardens mall said. “We are conducting thermal screening for fever for all employees,” the official of the Beckbagan mall said.