Kolkata and the rest of the state observed a complete lockdown on Friday to contain the spread of the Covid-19 infection — probably the last such shutdown as the government has not announced fresh dates for this month.
Public transport remained off the roads, and offices, banks, markets and other commercial establishments were shut. Only essential services were allowed.
Flight operations at the Kolkata international airport were suspended and long-distance trains were also rescheduled due to the lockdown. Ferry services through inland waterways were also suspended.
Essential services such as medicine shops, health establishments, petrol pumps and the fire department were open. Schools, colleges and other educational institutes remained closed.
Policemen were seen stopping people from venturing outside their house.
However, in places such as Purulia town, Asansol and Durgapur, some grocery stores and vegetable vendors did a brisk business in the morning before police stepped in.
At Hazra Crossing, police used drones to keep a tab on the movement of vehicles and individuals while barricades were put up at various places. At Lake Town, policemen were seen using thermal guns to check the temperature of people out for emergency services.
The state-wide complete lockdown on Saturday had earlier been withdrawn in view of the NEET-UG 2020 exam on the following day.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced the cancellation of the lockdown on Twitter.
“GoWB had initially announced a statewide lockdown on Sep 11th & 12th. Considering the NEET 2020 examination scheduled on 13th, we have received numerous requests from the student community on lifting lockdown norms on 12th, helping ease their travel to examination centres. Keeping their interest in mind, while keeping the statewide lockdown as it is on Sep 11th, it has been decided to cancel the lockdown on 12th, so that the students can attend the examination on 13th without any apprehensions or concerns. I wish them all the very best,” Banerjee tweeted.
Kolkata police arrested/prosecuted 594 people for deliberate violation of ‘complete safety restrictions’ and prosecuted 35 vehicles till 6 pm.
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