Kolkata: In keeping with the rising COVID-19 cases in West Bengal, Chief Secretary Alapan Bandhopadhyay on Saturday announced a complete lockdown in West Bengal from May 16 till May 30.
Addressing the media, Alapan said that all markets will be open from 7 am to 10 am and except for emergency services all public services will remain suspended.
“Markets will be open in the morning and e-commerce and online services will be open the entire day. Banks will be open from 10 am to 2pm and shops selling sweets will be open from 10 am to 5pm,” said Alapan adding that petrol pumps and auto repairing shops will be open throughout the day.
Urging people to stay indoors to break the chain, the West Bengal Chief Secretary said that outdoor movements from 9 pm to 5 am will be strictly closed.
“Public transportation including metro services will be closed and frontline workers will have to move with their own transport. All educational institutes, shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools, religious places and other places where there is a chance of congregation will be closed,” mentioned Alapan adding few government-run busses will ply and by showing valid identity cards the frontline workers can avail them.
The West Bengal Chief Secretary also added that all offices will also be closed till May 30.
“Jute bags are used in emergency services for which jute mills will be open with 30 percent workforce and tea gardens will be open with 50 percent workforce. For the marriage ceremony, only 50 people will be allowed and for the funeral 20 people will be allowed,” said West Bengal Chief Secretary.
After consulting with the West Bengal Education Department and Education Minister Bratya Basu, the Chief Secretary stated that the board examination under West Bengal Higher Secondary Education Council will not be held in June.
“The Madhyamik Examination was scheduled to take place on June 1 and Higher Secondary in the second week of June. But after consulting with the Education Minister the scheduled exams won’t take place in June and new intimations will be given to the students and their parents at the earliest,” added Alapan.
According to several doctors, this complete lockdown is needed to break the chain and also that the next 15 days are extremely crucial for West Bengal.
“The number of active cases is increasing in leaps and bounds. This lockdown was needed to break the chain as the next two weeks is very crucial for the state and the number of cases is expected to rise,” said Dr. Kajal Krishna Banik.