Lockdown 4 in Bengal: three zone-division based on sensitivity, odd-even numbers for hawkers, plus what’s open, what’s not

As West Bengal – like elsewhere in the country – enters the fourth phase of lockdown to contain Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced what will remain open from now and from the next week and what has to remain closed still.

Some of the major steps being taken:

*The red zone districts will be divided into three areas depending on the detection of COVID-19 cases. There will be the “affected zone” – the exact place where COVID-19 case has been detected, the “buffer zone” – the areas surrounding it and a third “clean zone”, which is outside the boundaries of the buffer zone without any case nearby. All the big, standalone shops across the state – outside containment zones – will open on May 21.

*The state government has formed a committee with the director-general of state police, the Mayor (now administrator) of Kolkata, the police commissioner to decide on the opening of hawkers’ shops and those who sell their products from the streets. This committee will discuss with hawkers’ associations and offer them tokens and based on their “odd-even” numbers, they will be allowed to sell their products. This will start from May 27. All these shops and hawkers must take adequate protection from wearing masks to sanitization.

*Inter-district buses to start operating from May 27

*Autorickshaws can ply with only two passengers from May 27. Adequate precautionary measures must for drivers and passengers

*Hair-cutting shops can open, but use of sanitizers and sterilisation of equipment must. A separate list of measures to be followed will be issued on this shortly.

*No opening of restaurants right now

*Industries and private offices will also remain open with 50 per cent of the workforce.

Banerjee said that though the Centre has said that there will be “curfew” on from 7 pm to 7 am, the state government is not using the term “curfew” as it is too stern. “We appeal to you to not leave home beyond 7 pm, and we will be compelled to take action against those who do so. However, we are not using the word ‘curfew’,” she said.

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