West Bengal government on Sunday announced that several areas of the state including Kolkata will be put under lockdown from March 23 5 pm to March 27 in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country. Essential services will be exempted from the lockdown. So far four persons in the state have tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection.
According to the notification the lockdown termed as “complete safety restrictions” will be imposed in all municipal towns including in the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in the districts of Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpomg, Darjeeling, Birbhum, East Bardhaman, Purulia, Bankura, West Medinipur, East Medinipur, Jhargram, Hooghly, South and North 24 Paraganas.
It further states that the districts of North Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, West Bardhaman, and Howrah will be totally under the “complete safety restrictions.”
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While no public transport will be permitted during the time frame all kinds of transports to and from hospitals, airports, railway stations, bus stands and terminus along with goods vehicles carrying essential commodities will be exempted.
“ People are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services while strictly following social distancing guidelines issued earlier,” states the notification.
The state government has also prohibited “any congregation of more than seven persons” in public places and warned of strict legal action in case of any violation.
“ Any person found violating these instructions shall be deemed to have committed an offense punishable under section 188 of the IPC(45 of 1860),” stated the notification.
All shops, commercial establishments, offices, factories, workshops, godowns have been ordered to close their operations.
However selling, storage and transportation of food grains -including PDS- groceries, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish , bread have been exempted.
Emergency services including banks, ATMs and the IT sector have also been exempted from the lockdown.
Earlier in the day the state witnessed almost a total shutdown due to an overwhelming response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call of “janata curfew”. People decided stay indoors.