Bengal extends Covid curbs till July 30; allows Metro Rail services on weekdays, but no local trains
Kolkata, Jul 14: Keeping in mind the experts warning regarding a possible third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the West Bengal government on Wednesday extended the ongoing restrictions till July 30, but also announced certain relaxations.
Metro Railway services are allowed to resume operations with 50 per cent seating capacity on weekdays, a government order said. The local train services, however, will continue to remain suspended except for the staff special trains.
"The state executive committee of the state disaster management authority after a review of the current situation of the pandemic recommended further extension of restriction measures with graded and calibrated approach to relaxations," the order stated.
The restrictions, imposed on May 16, were last extended till July 15. The West Bengal recorded 831 new cases Wednesday taking the tally of total positive cases to 15,13,845 while with 14 fresh fatalities the deaths figure has risen to 17,958 in the state. There are 12,984 active cases presently in the state. The order stated that public buses, taxis, autorickshaws have been permitted to operate with 50 per cent capacity. Offices, both government and private, are also allowed to function with half the manpower, it said.
Gymnasiums and beauty parlours can also operate with 50 per cent strength from 11 am to 6 pm. Only 50 people will be allowed to attend social gatherings such as weddings.
Vegetable markets can remain open from 6 am to noon, the order said. All schools, colleges, universities, polytechnics, anganwadi centres and other educational institutions would continue to remain closed, the order said.
The order mentioned that all political, social, cultural and academic, entertainment-related gatherings and congregations would continue to be prohibited.
"All outdoor activities including movement of people and vehicles shall be strictly prohibited between 9 pm to 5 pm except for health services, law and order, essential commodities including agricultural produce and emergency services," the order said further stating that it should come into effect from July 16.
Meanwhile, in the wake of a sudden surge of COVID-19 cases in the Darjeeling, the district administration has made it mandatory for tourists to carry with them either the certificate of getting double doses or reports of RT-PCR tests conducted 72 hours prior to visiting the hill station, an official said.
"Unless a tourist carries either of the two documents, he/ she will not get accommodation in any hotel or home stay," the official said.