COVID-19 in West Bengal: Thought of second complete lockdown leaves people petrified
Photo: BL Soni

Kolkata: With the second wave of COVID 19 affecting the country again, many states have either started night curfew or weekend lockdowns to break the chain.

West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandhopadhyay met with all the District Magistrates to discuss upon the increasing Covid cases in poll-bound West Bengal.

According to West Bengal secretariat sources, the meeting ended with a not that all the political parties will have to maintain covid protocols before holding the rallies and meetings to woo the voters.

“Social distancing, wearing of masks, and using sanitizers should be maintained during the public rallies in the state. More tests will be conducted and measures towards early vaccination will also be taken,” said the Nabanna sources.

According to the information by the West Bengal health department total active cases in the state stand at 5,80,999 with 368 new cases on March 22, and the number of total deaths till March 22 in West Bengal stands to 10,310.

Notably, everyone’s life came to a standstill after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 21 days of complete lockdown on March 24 following the increase in Covid 19 cases.

Talking to Free Press Journal, Tapas Roy, a newspaper vendor said that he gets petrified even at the very thought of complete lockdown as due to poverty, he had to sell his property at a nominal price.

“There was no food at my house. My job was halted and I didn’t know how to make both ends meet. People are saying just because the election is about to start so there will not be any lockdown now but after the results, there is a high probability that there will be another lockdown. If that happens I don’t have anything more to sell except my kidneys,” cried Tapas.

It can be recalled that several migrant workers while returning to their home in distant districts in West Bengal had died on the road out of starvation.

Sujan Mitra, a traffic guard at Shyambazar five points crossing in North Kolkata says that with no leaves and with high alert he and his team had to work almost 15-18 hours every day.

“The experience is traumatic. We all felt that even if we survive corona we will die working. There are instances when people behaved extremely casual and for them we were pained. I think people are casual even now for which we need to tell them to be on your guards so that all can break the chain,” appealed the head traffic cop.

It can be recalled that several people have also lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Several companies had a pay cut leaving many people in dire distress.

Incidentally, in the poll-bound West Bengal corona issue has been utilized by both TMC and BJP to promote their parties ahead of the poll. While the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is claiming that she was instrumental in bringing back the migrant workers during complete lockdown and also that the BJP led central government is not sending adequate vaccines to West Bengal, the BJP central leaders are claiming that the TMC government failed to help people during the pandemic.

According to general practitioner Dr. Ashok Singh the tests are not being done properly in West Bengal for which the actual figures cannot get ascertained.

“The public rallies of all the political parties are being held where there are large turnouts. No one is maintaining any protocols. People think that the pandemic is over but the truth is it isn’t. Even in public places and public transports, most people are seen without masks and sanitizers. Indoor one is free to be they that person wants but the only advice to everyone is to maintaining the protocols once you step outside,” said Dr. Ashok.

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Free Press Journal