After news reports emerged of a bureaucrat’s son—an 18-year-old—flouting quarantine and roaming around Kolkata, West Bengal has gone into complete lockdown with public transport suspended and all malls and shops shut.
Local trains, passenger trains and express train services have also been suspended.
So far West Bengal has 7 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. Anandabazar Patrika reported that the teenager’s father, mother and house help have also tested positive for the virus.
The report said that the teenager had come on contact with over 50 people when he flouted quarantine. This was found after he was admitted to the Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital.
The report said that the health department was now looking into who the father, mother and the house help came in contact with.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph reported that 23 districts in the state were put under lockdown.
The report said that while all the positive patients were in Kolkata, the lockdown was imposed on the districts with dense populations.
While the current lockdown is supposed to be till 27 March, sources in the government said it would be subject to the situation.
“The state government does not want to leave anything to chance. If it must be a lockdown, it should be an extensive lockdown,” an unnamed source was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.
Migrant Workers Screened
And while a large number of migrant workers from West Bengal are returning to the state, reports say they are also being screened.
Another report inThe Telegraph said officials began checking migrant workers on Sunday in the Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda districts. These districts are places that see a lot of people going outside the state to work.
The report said 300 workers were screened in Nadia and 2000 in Malda and many of them were reportedly asked to isolate themselves at home.
What Gets Affected
Like the rest of the country only essentials are available at the moment. PTI reported that lockdown will apply to areas under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, all municipal towns in North 24 Parganas district, including Salt Lake and New Town, besides Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, West Burdwan, North Dinajpur and Howrah districts. Siliguri, Darjeeling and Kurseong towns will also be put under the lockdown, apart from other urban areas in different parts of the state, according to the notification.
“No public transport services, including operation of taxis, autorickshaws, will be permitted. The exception will include transports of all kinds to and from hospitals, airports and goods carrier carrying food and essential commodities. People are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services while strictly following the social distancing guidelines issued earlier,” the notification said.
Food grains, groceries, vegetable, fruits, meat, fish, bread, milk, medical services, home delivery, petrol pumps, pharmacies, the IT sector and banks and ATMs, among others, have been exempted from the purview of the lockdown.
West Bengal witnessed a near-total shut down on Sunday as people chose to stay indoors in response to the “janata curfew” call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(With PTI inputs)