People wearing face masks wait in a queue to take swab samples to test for the Covid-19, in Kolkata on Tuesday.
People wearing face masks wait in a queue to take swab samples to test for the Covid-19, in Kolkata on Tuesday.
AFP

Kolkata: A day before West Bengal will see a complete lockdown on Wednesday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced complete lockdown on weekends barring August 1 on Bakri Eid and Independence Day on August 15. The lockdown with relaxations, which was in place till July 31, has been extended till August 31. This means people can step out and vehicles can ply between 5 am and 10 pm.

Keeping in mind the occassions of Bakri Eid, Raksha Bandhan, Independence Day, and Ganesh Chaturthi, the dates of complete lockdown are decided as 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 Banerjee.

The extension of lockdown also means that schools and colleges will remain closed until then. However, Banerjee did mention that the target is to reopen educational institutions on Teacher's Day, i.e. on September 5. If the situation permits, the authorities are looking at a system of classes to be conducted every alternate day.

For now, citizens will have to comply with the complete lockdown on weekends. The state government, however, seems confident this will help break the chain of the virus which has reported 19,502 active cases and 1,411 deaths as of July 27.

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