Other States

Coronavirus: West Bengal invokes Epidemic Diseases Act

Closure of educational institutions extended to April 15

The West Bengal government on Monday invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and extended the closure of the educational institutions from March 31 to April 15.

The Centre has advised States and Union Territories to invoke provisions of the Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 so that all advisories being issued from time to time by are enforceable.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who held a meeting with different stakeholders, said that the Act had been invoked to ensure that people with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) remain in isolation.

Ms. Banerjee said that the State government had created a separate fund of ₹200 crore for fighting the coronavirus. The fund will be used for purchasing masks, protective gear for medical staff, and upgrading infrastructure at health facilities.

Population density

While she maintained that there had been no case of COVID-19 infections in the State, she underlined that West Bengal has a huge population with high density. The Chief Minister said that at present there are only two testing centres in the State and urged the Centre that more testing centres should be opened. Speaking to journalists, she said that closure of educational educations would also extend to the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centres of the State.

“I will appeal to religious leaders to avoid public gatherings. The way Belur Math [headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission] has taken measures, I would urge other religious institutions also to do so,” Ms. Banerjee said.

The CM advised all auditoria and cinema halls to remain closed, and said all steps should be taken to restrict public gatherings. However, she said that malls and markets should not be completely closed as people would run out of supplies.

‘People will listen’

Asked whether the government would impose Section 144 of the Cr.PC to restrict gatherings, Ms. Banerjee said that she did not think such measures were required. “I think people will listen to our advice,” she said.

The Chief Minister said that she had cancelled all her administrative meetings and advised State government employees to use hand sanitisers before entering office and also while leaving home.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 31, 2020 1:15:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-west-bengal-invokes-epidemic-diseases-act/article31083238.ece

Next Story