West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced extension of the lockdown in the state's containment zones till July 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19. The ongoing lockdown in West Bengal was to end on June 30.
The state's COVID-19 death toll rose to 591 as 11 more people succumbed to the disease, while 445 fresh cases pushed its tally to 15,173, said health department officials.
Banerjee, after attending an all-party meeting held at an auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat in Kolkata, said although there were differences of opinion among leaders, it was decided to extend the curbs till the end of July with relaxations.
“Except for the dates of pending higher secondary exams and the other board exams which our education department will decide, we are planning to extend lockdown (in containment zones) in the state with the necessary relaxations,” she said.
There will be complete lockdown in only the containment zones, while elsewhere the relaxations allowed earlier will continue. Banerjee said all educational institutions will remain shut till July 31. Government offices will function in a "segregated manner" with 70% attendance on any given day. Metro and suburban train services will remain suspended.
Shopping malls, restaurants and other similar establishments had resumed services in Bengal on June 8 after a gap of over two months, with the state government allowing relaxations as part of 'Unlock-1', the first phase of a calibrated exit from the coronavirus lockdown across the country.
Places of worship and private offices were also allowed to open with reduced attendance.
According to the latest order, norms of physical distancing and health hygiene protocol must be strictly followed.
“Any violation in compliance of norms of physical distancing, health hygiene protocol and wearing of masks shall attract penal actions as per law,” said the notice.
(With inputs from PTI)