Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

After a confirmed case of Covid-19 emerged in the heart of Jaigaon yesterday, the town will now be under lockdown from today until July 29.

Although the West Bengal government had issued a public notification on July 21 placing the town under lockdown for three days- on July 23 (today), July 25 and July 29, the residents of Jaigaon had requested the state government to extend the lockdown continuously until July 29. 

The request was approved and the lockdown begins from today.

A 55-year-old man from Jaigaon’s residential area Deokota Toll tested Covid-19 positive early yesterday. Deokota Toll is the area between NS Road and Chinese Lane. Hundreds of Bhutanese families lived there prior to evacuation in response to the pandemic. 

The results had come out around 1am yesterday, sources in Jaigaon said. He has been sent to Topsikhata Covid-19 hospital, Alipurduar.

This is the first case after five Jaigaon residents tested positive on June 7 and recovered on June 11.

The general secretary (GS) of Jaigaon Hardware and Electrical Merchant’s Welfare Association (JHEMWA), Rakesh Pandey said that they have requested for one week’s lockdown because Siliguri, Hasimara and Malbazaar were under lockdown too.

“And because of this, considering people’s safety we requested for a week’s lockdown,” he said.   

During the lockdown, all government and private offices, commercial establishments, public and private transport will be closed.

However, essential activities related to health services, including the movement of health personnel, medicine shops and pharmacies, law and order, courts, correctional services, fire and emergency services will remain open.

The general secretary of Jaigaon Merchants Association, RS Gupta said Jaigaon was clean until yesterday but there is tension now with the report of a new positive case.

“We will diligently follow this lockdown,” he said.

The general secretary also said that it has been made compulsory for people to wear face masks. 

“If people don’t follow, then they will be penalised with Rs 500,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Phuentsholing, everything is normal.