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Mamata extends lockdown till June 30

Soumyadeep Sarkar

State lockdown gets extended by 15 days

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Monday that the lockdown in the state has been extended till June 30, even as most economic activities have resumed across the country during the first phase of Unlock.

According to the new announcement:

  1. Not more than 25 persons will be permitted to enter places of worship at a time.
  2. The maximum guests to attend marriage ceremonies have been limited to 25.
  3. Not more than 25 persons will be allowed to attend funerals/performing of final rites.
  4. Movement of individuals will continue to remain prohibited between 9 pm to 5 am, except for essential activities.
  5. Violation of social distancing and health hygiene norms will attract penal action as per law.

This startling announcement came at a time when shopping malls, restaurants, and other establishments were finally allowed to resume operations in the state after a gap of over two months, as the state government allowed further relaxations as part of Unlock 1, the first phase of a calibrated exit from the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown across the country.

Also read: Amit Shah accuses Mamata of not allowing enough trains for migrants

Earlier, religious places had been allowed to reopen from June 1, while Monday saw offices in the state resume work with a 100 percent workforce. The government had, earlier, officially extended the lockdown in the state till June 15. Today, the frustration of people increased as the lockdown got extended by an additional 15 days.

West Bengal followed the example of the Manipur government, which had announced earlier they would be enforcing the lockdown in the state till June 30.

The first week of Unlock 1 witnessed a staggering rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, as the highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases increased daily. Crowds erupted on the streets of Kolkata in large numbers as social distancing norms were thrown out of the window. Traffic snarls were reported from several parts of the city. Masks were noticeably absent as people were seen milling around without gloves or any care of hand hygiene. Government bus services were inadequate to cater to the rising demand of commuters, while private bus operators sulked due to lack of raise in fares for compensation. They promised to run 50 percent of the bus fleet from Tuesday.

Also read: Mamata warns against relief distribution favouritism

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