West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
Photo: ANI

Prema Rajaram


Even as active Covid cases rose to 2,173 in West Bengal on Tuesday with 110 cases and 8 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that life in West Bengal will get back to normal. However, the lockdown in the state will continue but the focus wil be on relaxations. Red zones will be divided into three parts — Red Zone A: Will have no relaxation; Red Zone B: Will have some relaxation; Red Zone C: Will have some relaxation outside containment zones.

"Don't think we will get relief from the Covid-19 crisis anytime soon. We should have a three-month short-term plan in place to tackle the situation. I have told district magistrates and police superintendents that this situation will continue but we need to focus on relaxations and revival of the economy," Banerjee said after a review meeting with state officials.

"Our rural economy has been hit. There must be a balance between tackling the pandemic and saving livelihoods," she said.

With reports of clashes among two groups and with police reported in several places amid the Covid pandemic, Mamata has lashed out at BJP for indulging in politics during this time. “I am saying don’t take law in your hands. I have said yesterday this is not the time for politics. They will think that they will spread riots do not do that. Bengal has a limit of patience, do not test it. How can they put it on social media? I am seeing everything,” said Mamata, accusing BJP of intensifying sensitive issues, to gain mileage by hitting out at the Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led government ahead of the 2021 state assembly poll.

Meanwhile, amid raging controversy over alleged mishandling of the Covid crisis, Mamata on Tuesday cracked the whip on health secretary Vivek Kumar by transferring him from the post, prompting the opposition to claim the removal only proves “something was seriously wrong”. Narayan Swaroop Nigam, who was the transport secretary, has replaced Kumar.

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