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‘Stop all flights to Kolkata’: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi to stop coronavirus spread

In her letter to PM Modi, Bengal chief minister said the state has announced Critical Safety Regulation measures which will come into effect from 5pm on Monday, closing down all establishments except for those in essential services and prohibiting any gathering of more than seven persons.

Updated: Mar 23, 2020 14:50 IST

By Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times Kolkata

A screen shows cancelled flights due to COVID-19 restrictions at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, West Bengal, March 14 2020. (Samir Jana / HT File Photo )

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to ensure no flight lands in Kolkata to curb the spread of coronavirus as the number of infected jumped beyond 400.

Highlights

The number of Covid-19 patients in West Bengal rose to seven from four
Bengal has announced Critical Safety Regulation measures which will come into effect from 5pm on Monday
Essential services have been exempted from the order

“We are seriously concerned that Government of India is still allowing operation of flight causing a huge breach of the shutdown and quarantine protocol with no arrangement of social distancing that we are so painfully managing in the state,” the chief minister said in her letter.

“I would, therefore, request you to kindly arrange to issue necessary instructions to stop all flights coming to West Bengal with immediate effect so that the source of spreading infection is effectively contained and lockdown in the state implemented in true letter and spirit,” she said.

Also read: India’s Covid-19 cases cross 400, death toll at 7



The letter came a day after the number of Covid-19 patients in West Bengal rose to seven from four after the parents and domestic help of an infected person, who came back from London, tested positive.



In her letter to Modi, the chief minister said the state has announced Critical Safety Regulation measures which will come into effect from 5pm on Monday, closing down all establishments except for those in essential services and prohibiting any gathering of more than seven persons.

Also read: Coronavirus outbreak forces a virtual lockdown in India till March 31

“We have stopped all inter-state transport and reduced intra-state public transport to a bare minimum. Railways have also stopped all trains and Metro services,” she wrote.

West Bengal on Sunday announced a five-day lockdown, from March 23 to 27.

Sunday’s order said that no public transport services, including operations of taxis and auto-rickshaws, will be permitted. Taxis will be allowed only outside hospitals, railway stations and bus terminals.

“All shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops, godowns, etc shall close their operations,” the notification said while exempting grocery shops, markets selling vegetables, fish, and meat.

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