Bengal extends Covid-19 restrictions till August 15
West Bengal on Thursday extended the Covid-19 restrictions until August 15 even as government functions will be allowed indoors with 50% of seating capacity. The government earlier allowed the Kolkata Metro, buses, cabs and auto-rickshaws to operate. Local train services will remain suspended while a night curfew between 9pm and 5am will also continue.
The restrictions were earlier extended up to July 30 as the Kolkata Metro was allowed to run on weekdays with 50% capacity. West Bengal introduced the restrictions from May 16 when the daily count of Covid-19 cases crossed the 20,000-mark. The restrictions were extended for 15 days with certain relaxations.
The Covid-19 cases shot up to 815 on Wednesday after remaining below the 700 mark for two days. Kolkata and its two adjoining districts of South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas account for nearly one-third of the total cases. Darjeeling, with 62 cases, recorded the maximum number of infections on Wednesday.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has called a meeting of the Global Advisory Body set up last year to advise the state on the pandemic issues on August 5. The body is headed by Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee.
The state has allowed reopening of shops, markets, salons and beauty parlours. Cinema halls, spas and swimming pools continue to remain closed along with schools and colleges. Banks have been allowed to remain open from 10am to 3pm.
The state has prohibited all kinds of political, social, cultural and entertainment related gatherings.
The ruling Trinamool Congress held an annual rally on July 21 virtually for the second consecutive year because of the pandemic.