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Letter to Prime Minister: Allowing flights breach of lockdown, stop them from landing in Bengal: CM

As West Bengal geared up to put major cities and several districts under lockdown from Monday 5 pm to curb the spread of coronavirus, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to issue necessary instructions to stop all flights from landing in the state and said that allowing operation of […]




As West Bengal geared up to put major cities and several districts under lockdown from Monday 5 pm to curb the spread of coronavirus, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to issue necessary instructions to stop all flights from landing in the state and said that allowing operation of flights was a breach of the shutdown and quarantine protocol.

It is to be noted that the Central government on Sunday issued an advisory to the states to put 75 districts across the country under lockdown. For West Bengal, the Centre had advised putting two districts — Kolkata and North 24 Parganas — under lockdown. However, the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal extended the lockdown to over six districts and several other cities and towns from Darjeeling to Kolkata till March 27 midnight.

Noting that her government has suspended all inter-state public transport and reduced the number of intra-state buses due to coronavirus threat, Mamata wrote to Modi: “However, we are seriously concerned that the Government of India is still allowing operation of flights 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… 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 is implemented in true letter and spirit.”

She stated that her government has taken “multiple proactive measures” to contain the spread of the infection as well as upgrading health infrastructure in the state. “We have announced massive critical safety regulation measures from 5 pm today (Monday). We have stopped all inter-state public transport and have reduced intra-state public transport to a bare minimum. The Railways has stopped all trains and Metro services,” the letter read.
On Monday, West Bengal reported the first death from coronavirus. So far, seven persons have tested positive.

“I have been saying this for a month now. Now, India is entering the third stage of the pandemic,” Mamata had told mediapersons on Saturday.

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