West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to immediately stop all flights coming to West Bengal. She said that stopping the flights to the state is required with immediate effect “so that the source of spreading infection is effectively contained and lockdown in the state is implemented in true letter and spirit”.
Banerjee explained in her letter to the PM that the Bengal government has announced “massive Critical Safety Regulation measures” from Monday 5 pm. All inter-state transport has been stopped and intra-state transport has been reduced to a bare minimum. Railways have also stopped running of trains and metro.
“However, we are seriously concerned that Government of India is still allowing operation of flights causing a huge breach of shutdown and quarantine protocol with no arrangements of social distancing that we are so painfully managing in the State,” Banerjee wrote to the Prime Minister.
She also stated in her letter that “We are together in our fight against COVID-19”.
The Bengal government has ordered complete lockdown – barring essential services [check list here for what’s on and what’s not and where in West Bengal] in large parts of the state from 5 pm on Monday. It will be applicable in various parts of the state that include entire Kolkata, most parts of North and South 24 Parganas, most district towns and some districts entirely. No gathering of more than seven persons is allowed either.
Anyone violating the instructions can be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.