IN WB, Police promoting social distancing during lockdown to contain COVID-19 as more and more persons returning from foreign trips jumping quarantine

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DESPITE West Bengal Government making relentless efforts to ensure compliance of the guidelines related to nationwide lockdown to contain dreaded COVID-19, several persons returning from foreign countries have defied quarantine rules and spreading the virus through socializing. CM Mamata Banerjee handling home and health ministries is monitoring the situation. She visited some markets and appealed to maintain social distancing while communicating with others. ‘’It seems West Bengal is allowing some laxity in the lockdown which may prove counterproductive and the cheap stunt of allowing public transport may prove fatal; this happens when illiterates run the administration,’’ tweets Ashok Datta. Prices of vegetables across Kolkata markets, which have to depend on suburbs for supplies, have stabilized. Fish and egg prices remained however high, with stocks depleting fast and transportation bottlenecs. Vegetables were available in abundance with vendors coming in with goods carriages loaded. Vendors from some areas hired carriages together to reach the market.  Following instruction issued by CM, some police personnel were removed from assignments. From Saturday evening markets were allowed to remain open. The grocery stores, particularly, those selling rice and pulses, opened after two days. Since the wholesalers cannot offer doorstep delivery of goods to retailers due to staff shortage, the retailers themselves hired vehicles together to bring grocery items from Posta, the biggest wholesale market in eastern India. Milk and milk-products supply stabilized with milk booths running full time.

To maintain social distancing, police encouraged vendors to reach out to several localities including and apartment blocks in Behala with cycle vans. Kolkata Police took some steps to enforce social distancing. Police set up portable taps and basin so that people entering the market can sanitize their hands. Police are allowing 30 people inside the market at a time. Kolkata Police in some localities reached out to elderly citizens living alone to provide essentials and food packets at their doorsteps. (edited by PKC. Image courtesy to Hindustan Times)

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