West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that local train services shall be suspended in the state from Thursday onwards to combat the worsening coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic situation. Meanwhile, metro rail and government-run transport services in West Bengal shall operate with 50% occupancy from Thursday, the chief minister announced.
West Bengal on Tuesday reported its highest single-day deaths of 107 Covid-19 patients, which took the state's death toll to 11,744, the health department had said in a bulletin. Meanwhile, a record number of new coronavirus disease cases were also registered, as the bulletin showed a single-day spike of 17,639 cases. West Bengal's total Covid-19 infection tally currently stands at 8,98,533.
The West Bengal chief minister also announced lockdown-like measures across the state to tackle the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, encountered in the second wave of the coronavirus disease. Shopping complexes, markets, gyms, cinema halls, and beauty parlours have been closed, while all manner of social and political gatherings have been prohibited.
"Looking at the Covid-19 situation, we are going to take some steps. Wearing masks will be mandatory. There will only be 50% attendance in state government offices. Shopping complexes, gyms, cinema halls, and beauty parlours shall remain closed. Social and political gatherings will be prohibited," chief minister Mamata Banerjee said.
Moreover, for the private sector in West Bengal, work from home has been allowed for 50% of the staff. Jewellery shops will remain open only for three hours in the day -- from 12pm to 3pm. While restaurants will remain closed, home delivery of food shall remain open and it was been encouraged that more people have their food delivered at home to cut down virus spread.
Banks will remain open from 10am to 2am, the chief minister said.
Announcing measures to cut the coronavirus spread from domestic and international fliers, Mamata Banerjee said that from May 7, no one will be allowed to arrive at airports without an RT-PCR negative report not older than 72 hours. "Those who test positive shall be sent to 14-day quarantine arranged by the airport authority in collaboration with the state government," the West Bengal chief minister said.