A day after West Bengal completed an eight-phase assembly election, the state government issued an order closing down shopping complexes, malls, beauty parlours, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, sports complexes, gyms, spas and swimming pools, with immediate effect in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases.
The decision was taken in the State Executive Committee of the West Bengal State Disaster Management Authority on April 30 and the restrictions/prohibitions would be with immediate effecr and in force until further orders. Home deliveries and online services, however, are permitted.
All social, cultural, academic, entertainment related gatherings and congregations have been prohibited while the timings for bazaars/haats have been regulated and will remain open only during 7-10 in the morning and 3-5 in the afternoon.
Essential services like medical shops, medical equipment shops, grocery, however, will remain outside the confines of the embargo, said the order.
The order comes with the rise in Covid cases in the state. On April 29, new positive cases stood at 17,403 while total active cases were at 110,241, of which, 10,619 hospital cases and 1,241 in safe homes.
The decision for curbs comes just a day after West Bengal completed an eight-phase assembly election on Thursday and results are due on May 2.
The order said that all activities related to electoral counting processes and victory rallies/processions will be guided by the guidelines already issued by the Election Commission of India.
It further said that unnecessary congregations in the neighbourhoods of counting halls will be discouraged and restricted. Also, physical distancing norms and COVID-appropriate behavior would have to be followed and crowding/loitering near the counting venue is to be averted.
The order issued by the chief secretary said that any violation of these orders will be liable to be proceeded against as per provisions of the DM Act, 2005 and legal actions under IPC and other laws of the land will be applicable.