Coronavirus outbreak: Mamata Banerjee invokes Epidemic Diseases Act in West Bengal, asks people to not hide COVID-19 symptoms

Mamata Banerjee said, 'The reason behind enacting this Act is to ensure public health and safety'

Asian News International March 17, 2020 14:33:22 IST
Coronavirus outbreak: Mamata Banerjee invokes Epidemic Diseases Act in West Bengal, asks people to not hide COVID-19 symptoms

Kolkata: In the wake of coronavirus scare, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, in the state.

"So far, 13 state governments have invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. We did not invoke it but today morning, 10 persons who were kept in isolation got annoyed with it and kept asking the district magistrate of North 24 Paraganas why they were kept in isolation, and they also refused to be there," said Banerjee at a press conference in Kolkata.

Coronavirus outbreak Mamata Banerjee invokes Epidemic Diseases Act in West Bengal asks people to not hide COVID19 symptoms

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

"The reason behind enacting this Act is to ensure public health and safety," she added. She also appealed to people to not panic and "not hide their symptoms."

"There is no need to panic and I also request people to not believe in fake news," the chief minister said while adding that people need not hide their symptoms and visit a hospital if they have flu-like symptoms.

She also announced that all educational institutions will now be closed till 15 April "but exams will go as scheduled."

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The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) will be closed till 31 March, she said. Among the other announcements made, Banerjee said that Rs 200 crore fund has been created to prevent spread of coronavirus in the state.

She also said, "Rs 5 lakh insurance has been allotted for 10 lakh people including Army personnel in the state, doctors, nurses, medical help, municipality and Asha women who are continuously working to prevent the spread of coronavirus."

The deadly bug which started spreading from the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year has killed more than 6000 people across the globe and infected more than a lakh others.

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