COVID-19 in Bengal: sweets & flower shops will now close at 12 noon

West Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha on Monday said that flower and sweet shops in the state will remain closed from 12 noon from now. The state government had issued two notices giving clearance to sweet shops to remain open – the first allowed them to be open from 12 noon to 4 pm, and then revised it to allow the hours to stretch from 8 am to 4 pm.

There was demand from sweet shop owners that their business had been hit due to the lockdown and huge amount of milk was going waste. However now, with various areas marked as particularly vulnerable areas – especially Kolkata, Howrah and parts of North 24 Parganas – the order has been revised again.

Sinha stressed that people have to act responsibly, especially in the hot spot areas, to contain Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). He said maintaining lockdown is not really a matter of policing and more an issue of self-discipline. “People have to discipline themselves to follow the rules, it cannot be forced on them all the time,” he said.

The state will enforce lockdown measures more strictly across the state, especially in the hotspots. Barricading will be increased to ensure proper implementation of lockdown especially in Kolkata and Howrah. Police will help deliver essentials to people’s homes in particularly vulnerable areas. People will have to be particularly careful in markets and banks, and strictly follow rules.

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