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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Next 15 days ‘very crucial’, more curbs if situation doesn’t improve: Mamata

The chief minister asked police to deal strictly with those found not wearing masks or abiding by the Covid protocol that is place in the state.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 7, 2022 10:40:52 am
Chief Minister Mamata BanerjeeThe chief minister also publicly expressed displeasure over her brother moving around despite his wife testing positive for the disease. (file photo)

Amid the surging Covid-19 cases in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the next 15 days would be “very crucial” and added that she would opt for stringent restrictions if there is no let-up in the pandemic situation.

Urging people to abide by the Covid-19 protocols and restrictions imposed by the government to check the ongoing surge in the contagion, the chief minister asked police to deal strictly with those found not wearing masks or abiding by the Covid protocol that is place in the state.

She also directed the administration to make RT-PCR tests mandatory at the inter-state borders.
“The next 15 days will be very crucial. Take proper care of yourself as well as that of your near and dear ones. Try to use gloves, cover your head using a cap and maintain hygiene after returning home. Only then can we save ourselves,” the chief minister told mediapersons during a virtual press meet.
“We have imposed the restrictions taking into account people’s lives and livelihood of the people. But if we see that despite all these restrictions the pandemic is still rising, we may opt for stricter restrictions,” she said.

At present, schools, colleges and universities have been closed along with entertainment parks, zoos, swimming pools, spas, gyms, beauty parlours, salons and wellness centres.

While all government and private offices have been told to operate at 50 per cent capacity, bars and restaurants have been allowed to remain open with 50 per cent capacity till 10 pm. A night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am is also in force.

“We are encouraging working from home. Several important officers of our government have been affected by the disease… We are carrying out all our duties and also trying to ensure that the officers are in good health. We cannot let everyone fall sick,” she added.

The chief minister also publicly expressed displeasure over her brother moving around despite his wife testing positive for the disease. “My brother’s wife is suffering from Covid but my brother is roaming around outside. I don’t like it. I called him and told him not to go out anywhere… We seem to have forgotten that if you have someone down with Covid at home, you cannot keep roaming around outside,” she said.

Banerjee said she would not come to the Secretariat on Friday as both her drivers have tested positive. She will also attend the inauguration of the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata through video conferencing from her office in Kalighat in the city. The new campus will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi remotely from Delhi on Friday. The entire programme will be held virtually, the PMO said.

Stating that over 45,000 people were infected and 2,075 hospitalised in the past one week, the CM said: “New Year has been a bit difficult, although this wave is not fatal… 194 hospitals in have been identified to treat Covid-19 patients, where at least 32,268 beds have been kept ready. Of them 19,517 beds are functional and 3,000 out of the 4,180 beds in CCUs and HDUs are operational.”

She said that 10,77,64,007 crores of vaccine doses have been administered in West Bengal but around 40 per cent of the population in the state are yet to get the second dose. “We required another 14 crores of doses. But now with the vaccination programme for 15-18 year-olds and the proposed programme of booster dose we require a few more crores,” Banerjee said.

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