West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

With the number of COVID-19 cases rising to three in Bengal, the State Government has issued a notification stating that all restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, night clubs, hookah bars, massage parlours, amusement parks, museums, zoos will remain shut. The order comes into effect from 6:00 am on March 22, 2020.

“The State Government is very carefully monitoring and assessing the situation arising out of COVID-19 in the State in order to prevent its spread and provide all medical facilities to the affected person. In order to further check non-essential social gatherings which lead to spread of the virus from infected person to healthy people and it is ordered to shut all restaurants , pubs, bars, clubs, night clubs, Hookah Bars, massage parlours, amusement parks, museums, zoos with effect from 0600 hours of March 22, 2020. Strict legal action will be taken in case of any violation,” the notification reads.

On Saturday Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee once again slammed the Central Government for not providing any equipment for combating the disease and said that the State's small scale units have already started preparing hand sanitisers, masks, gloves and personal protection equipment. These would first be distributed to the doctors, nurses and workers of hospitals as they are putting their lives at risk.

Next, these would be given to Police and workers who are engaged in cleaning work. Within two to three days, hand sanitisers and masks are being prepared by our small scale units would be available in the market for the common people, said Mamata.

She also alleged that the Centre should immediately stop all international flights and inter-state trains. The West Bengal Chief Minister said that she has repeatedly asked the Centre to take these steps but the Centre has turned a deaf ear.

Mamata also requested heads of religious organisations to refrain from mass gatherings.

"Few states have already shut down mass gatherings completely. 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 as disease is not liked by anyone. In Bengal, we are not enforcing it but we are trying to implement it in humane manner," she told a private news channel.

The West Bengal Chief Minister also thanked Belur Math for being the first to stop mass gatherings. Mamata has requested Dakshineswar and Kalighat temple authorities to do the same, and all melas of Chakladham and Muthua have been cancelled.

"If we are alive only then will religion live. So please refrain from mass gatherings," said Mamata while asking everyone who had 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 them confined to mosquito net and don't use their belongings," she advised.

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Free Press Journal