A 23-year-old woman from Habra in North 24 Parganas, who returned from Scotland on 19 March, and a 57 year-old resident of Dum Dum, who has no recent foreign travel history, became Bengal’s third and fourth Covid-19 patients.
Officials, however, could not confirm whether she was on home quarantine as per the protocol after returning from abroad. Taking a step further to prevent spreading of the virus and ensure proper social distancing, state government today decided to close down all restaurants, pubs, bars, night clubs, zoo and amusement parks from 6 a.m. tomorrow till 31 March.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has called an allparty meeting at Nabanna on Monday afternoon to take suggestions from them on combating the disease together. The state Cabinet meeting that was scheduled on 23 March, has been cancelled.
“Social gatherings, which facilitate the spread of the virus, remain an area of concern. Now in order to further check non-essential social gatherings which leads to spread of the virus from infected person to healthy person, it is ordered to shut all restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, night clubs, hookah bars, massage parlours, amusement parks, museums, zoos with effect from 6 a.m. of 22 March.
It is also ordered that all gatherings including social gathering should be avoided completely. If it’s must, the gathering should be reduced to the bare minimum so as to ensure proper social distancing. Strict legal action will be taken in case of any violation. This order will remain in force till 31 March,” read a notification issued by the state home and hill affairs department today.
Banerjee requested heads of religious organisations to refrain from mass gatherings. “Some organisations are still holding large gatherings. Please do not hold any mass gatherings. Few states have already barred all mass gatherings. We have not gone for a total shutdown instead we have asked not to go for mass gatherings. This is a directive of the Central government and all states have implemented it. We are not implementing it forcibly but in a humane manner,” she told a private news channel.
Banerjee asked everyone who has come from outside the country to remain in their houses and in complete isolation. “If it’s not possible to arrange a separate room for the person then keep him/her confined to mosquito net and don’t use his/her belongings,” Banerjee said.
She told people not be panic but follow the guidelines and advisories issued by the health department.
An emergency disaster management centre has been set up in Nabanna and people can dial 1070 or 033-22143526 for any help.