Corona fever in increasing like wildfire nationwide and state governments are doing all they can to curb the spread. West Bengal has reported over 60,000 cases and 1,411 deaths. West Bengal has been pretty drastically hit by the pandemic. The ensuing conditions forced the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to impose biweekly lockdown in the state.
On 31st May the nationwide complete lockdown was lifted and since then a drastic rise in the cases was noticed in the country. Around 60% of the cases in West Bengal were recorded in June and July. Last Tuesday the State government introduced two days of complete lockdown in the state, Thursday (23rd) and Saturday (25th). On Monday a revised date sheet of the complete lockdown in West Bengal was decided in Nabanna. The dates are as follows.
July 29, Wednesday
August 5, Wednesday
August 8, Saturday
August 16, Sunday
August 17, Monday
August 23, Sunday
August 24, Monday
Mamata Banerjee said, “We are extending the two-day lockdown every week in the state, which was in force till July 31, to August 31. Schools and colleges will remain closed till August 31, but if the situation improves then, from September 5, they can be opened on alternative days.”
Previously, 2nd and 9th August was declared to under lockdown which was later withdrawn via a tweet.
In the previous press conference it was also mentioned that the containment areas will be clubbed together with buffer areas around to create broad containment areas.
According to the news agency Press Trust of India State Government of West Bengal is planning to set up COVID-19 units in all hospitals in the state. Districts which are majorly hit in the pandemic are targeted for the first phase of setting up the units. Those districts would include South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Kolkata and Howrah. 8 more districts were added making the number of worst hit districts, 13.
Increase in testing
There were complaints against inefficient testing for COVID-19, to which a better testing scheme was promised. Mamata Banerjee recently said, “We have been testing more and more. We have 56 labs but within that, there are 30 big labs. Sixteen thousand plus tests are happening daily, so reports are coming that way.”
Decision regarding festivals
The biweekly lockdown has been extended till 31st August but exceptions have been made to festivals and nationals holidays like Rakshabandhan, Bakri Eid and Independence Day. “We will not do any lockdown this week because of Bakri Eid. We want the minorities to cooperate and avoid any gatherings. I request them all to celebrate indoors.”
Bank Conditions Although banking services fall under essentials, Banks have been given the allowance to stay closed on weekends, including Saturdays. Not just that public interaction will be limited will 2pm everyday to ensure safety of staffs and customers.
The Finance department said, “ the Governor is pleased to declare that all Saturdays shall be public holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in respect of all bank branches working in the State of West Bengal, in addition to the existing holidays on 2nd and 4th Saturdays.”
Despite the lockdown essentials like heath services, pharmacies, water, electricity, grocery stores, post office, police station and bank services will be open.