West Bengal starts lockdown from Monday 5pm, strict action against violators

Most parts of West Bengal have gone into complete lockdown from Monday 5 pm other than essential services. The government had issued a notification on Sunday to impose “Complete Safety Regulations” that include entire Kolkata, most parts of North and South 24 Parganas, most district towns and some districts entirely (see list below). No gathering of more than seven persons is allowed either. The lockdown will continue till March 27 midnight.

With one Novel Coronavirus positive person dead on Monday afternoon, the total number of deaths in the country has now increased to seven. Altogether, 415 people across the country have tested positive till 10:30 am Monday.

The state government will take strict action against anyone who flouts the restrictions. Violation will be a punishable offence under Section 188 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). This can mean imprisonment of up to one month or a fine of Rs. 200 or both. The term of imprisonment would be increased to six months and the fine to Rs. 1,000 if such actions endanger human lives or safety.

Gathering of seven or more persons in public places is not allowed. People returning from abroad have been asked to go on self-quarantine for a period suggested by competent healthcare authorities.

The Kolkata Police headquarters at Lalbazar has deployed police personnel in the city streets to prevent gatherings of more than seven people. Police patrol cars will ply the streets to ensure that vehicles and individuals out in the streets are outside only for essential work as notified by government.

What will be closed and what can remain open during the lockdown?

*No public transport services including taxis and autorickshaws to be allowed (exception will be allowed for transport from hospitals, airports, railway station, bus terminus, and goods transport that carries essential commodities)

*All shops, commercial establishments, offices, factories, workshops, godowns to remain closed

*All those who have returned from foreign countries to remain under strict quarantine, the period as specified by health officials

*People have been advised to remain indoors and come out only for basic necessities and follow social distancing

*The following essential services are to remain operational:

Law and order, court, correctional services

Health services

Police, armed force and paramilitary forces

Fire, civil defence and emergency services

Telecom, internet, IT, ITES and postal services

Banks and ATMs

Food including public distribution system, groceries, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, bread, milk (selling, storage and transportation)

E-commerce of groceries, food items and home delivery for food

Petrol pumps, LPG gas, oil agencies (godowns and transportation)

Medicine shops, optical stores, pharmaceutical (manufacturing and transportation)

Production and manufacturing units that require continuous processing (after clearance from district magistrate)

Print, electronic and social media

Manufacturing units for essential commodities

Where will the restrictions apply?

The restrictions will apply in the following areas:

*Entire Kolkata Municipal Corporation area

*In South 24 Parganas, it is applicable for Diamond Harbour, Canning, Sonarpur, Baruipur, Bhangar, Budge Budge and Maheshtala.

*For North 24 Parganas, it is applicable for all municipal towns including Lake Town and Salt Lake

*entire districts of Uttar Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, Paschim Burdwan, Howrah.

*It is also applicable to district towns of Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Siliguri, Dakshin Dinajpur, Purulia, Paschim Midnapore, Jhargram, Purba Midnapore and Hooghly.

*Other areas include: Jaigaon town, all municipal towns of Birbhum, district town of Purba Burdwan, Kalna and Katwa, district town of Paschim Midnapore, Kharagpur and Ghatal towns, district town of Purba Midnapore, Haldia, Kolaghat, Contain, Digha towns, Hooghly district town, Chandanagore, Konnagar, Arambagh, Serampore, Uttarpara.

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