A day ahead of the complete lockdown across West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced the lockdown dates for the upcoming weeks. In an effort to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, there will be a complete lockdown on weekends.
Government holidays however have been exempted, and August 1 (Bakri Eid) and August 15 (Independence Day) have been excluded from the lockdown list. This is an attempt to break the chain of the COVID-19 virus and bring down the number of cases in West Bengal.
The lockdown with relaxations which was in place till 31st July has been extended till 31st August, which means people can step out and transport can ply between 5:00 am and 10:00 pm.
Keeping in mind the occasions of Bakri Eid, Raksha Bandhan, Independence day and Ganesh Chaturthi, the dates of complete lockdown are on August 2, 5,16,17, 23, 24, 29 and 31.
"This Saturday there is Eid so no complete lockdown. But I appeal to people to celebrate at home as they cannot assemble outside.You saw that even on July 21 we had a virtual rally (shahid diwas rally)," said Mamata Banerjee.
The West Bengal Chief Minister has also appealed to people to wear masks in public and maintain social distancing and sanitization measures in light of the pandemic.
The extension of the lockdown to August 31 also means that schools and colleges will remain closed until then. However Mamata did mention that the target is to reopen educational institutions on Teacher's Day on 5th September if the situation permits and is looking at a system of classes being conducted on every alternate day.
For now, citizens will have to comply with the weekend spoiler that is a complete lockdown. The state government however seems confident this will help to break the chain of the COVID-19 virus. West Bengal has reported 19,502 active cases and 1,411 deaths as of July 27.