The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal announced a complete lockdown in the state till 31 March amid coronavirus outbreak in the state.
Anandabazar.com quoted Banerjee as saying, “After assessing the situation we have decided a complete lockdown in the state till 31 March.”
Banerjee requested the people of the state to stay home a day after 255 people were arrested in the state for violating restrictions.
She also announced a special scheme, Procheshta, for workers in the unorganised sector, the report on Anandabazar.com said.
While the Union and state government had repeatedly asked citizens to stay home and come out only when absolutely necessary, it seemed to have failed to have an impact on the citizens of the state.
This comes as two more people tested positive in Bengal for COVID-19 taking the number of afflicted to 9. Both people who tested positive had travel history — one person had returned from London and the other from Egypt.
Commissioner of Police, Kolkata Anuj Sharma tweeted on Monday night that 255 people had been arrested in the city for breaking restriction orders.
West Bengal is under lockdown till midnight on Friday.
Anandabazar.com reported that while on Tuesday streets of Kolkata were absolutely empty, people rushed to the markets that were open to stock up on essentials.
Photos tweeted by news agency ANI showed that the situation was the same outside of Kolkata. The photos taken at Panpur in North 24 Parganas showed people had gathered in large numbers at the market.
Cremation of coronavirus victim delayed
Meanwhile, PTI reported that because of the lockdown measures in the state, the cremation of the first person to died in the state of coronavirus was delayed.
According to police sources, senior officers took over two hours to convince the residents that necessary measures have been taken to avoid contamination.
The final rites of the 57-year-old man were initiated around 11.45 am on Monday, they said.
“We had to tell them that all protocols have been followed in wrapping up the body of the deceased, as per government guidelines. There was no reason to be scared,” a senior officer of the Kolkata Police Central Division said.
State asks for more test kits
As new cases created a bit of panic in the state, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said he will ask the Union health ministry for more test kits.
“I will talk to the Union health minister immediately after this programme is over about this issue,” the governor was quoted by PTI as saying.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already requested the Centre to send more testing kits to the state, saying the number of such kits presently with the state is inadequate to cope with the situation.
“It is not the time to take political mileage, but to act in synergy,” Dhankhar said at the programme.
(With PTI inputs)