With the number of Coronavirus cases rising in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to impose a complete lockdown in the state for a fortnight. The 15-day lockdown which comes into force from early morning tomorrow will remain in force till May 30, Chief Secretary of the state Alapan Bandyopadhyay was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The government’s decision comes in the wake of the state registering a record increase in the number of Coronavirus cases with 20,846 new cases on Friday. A total of 136 Covid-19 related deaths were also reported in the state on the same day.
As per the statement issued by the top bureaucrat of the state, the lockdown announced in the state appears to be very harsh with all major activities disallowed for a period of 15 days to curb the rising spread of the disease.
Activities disallowed during the lockdown:
* All government as well as private offices will remain closed during the period of the lockdown barring the ones involved in essential and emergency services, as per the lockdown order issued by the government.
* All major means of transport including private vehicles, taxis, buses, metro, and suburban trains will remain shut during the lockdown. The government will also stop intra-state buses plying from one part of the state to another.
* All recreational spots such as parks, zoos, sanctuaries, salons, and swimming pools in the state will also remain closed during the course of the lockdown. All cinema halls, sports complexes, bars and restaurants will also remain closed.
* All educational institutions, including schools will remain closed during the lockdown.
* With experts pointing out recently concluded assembly elections in the state as a probable cause for the rise in infection, the state government has now decided to disallow all academic, cultural, administrative, political as well as religious gatherings in the state.
Activities permitted during the lockdown:
* All retail shops in the state will be allowed to operate during the morning hours between 7 AM and 10 AM to cater to the basic needs of the people of the densely populated state.
* E-commerce and home delivery services in the state will continue unhindered during the course of the lockdown.
* Essential services like fuel stations, water & power utilities, medical stores, law and order, and media establishments will continue to operate during the lockdown.
*Though the government has stopped itself from prohibiting marriage ceremonies in the lockdown, the state government has imposed a cap on maximum attendees (50) during such ceremonies during the period of the lockdown.