Updated: July 20, 2020 7:41:50 pm
Stating that community transmission of Covid-19 had been recorded in a few areas in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government on Monday announced a complete lockdown across the state for two days every week amid a surge in cases. Follow coronavirus pandemic LIVE updates
“There are a few places in the state where community transmission of COVID-19 has been detected. After talking to experts, doctors, enforcement authorities, and the police, we have decided to impose complete lockdown for two days every week in the entire state to break the chain (of transmission),” Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said while addressing a press conference.
The decision was taken following a high-level meeting that was chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat.
Don’t miss from Explained | Andhra surges in Coronavirus case load, so does India
“There will be a two-day complete lockdown every week. This week, the total lockdown will be in force on Thursday and Saturday. Next week, the shutdown will be clamped on Wednesday (July 29),” Bandyopadhyay said.
All offices, transport services will be shut down on those two days. The government has also announced that all banks would remain closed on Saturday and Sunday. “The banks will maintain operations five days a week. Customer services will be provided on These working days from 10:00 am till 2.00 pm only,” the Home Secretary said.
The government is also planning to set up COVID-19 units at every private and state-run hospital. The government is also planning to procure at least 19 more Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test kits as it wants to ensure that at least 25,000 tests are carried out every day.
“The manner in which COVID-19 cases are increasing in West Bengal is quite concerning. To counter the spread, the best way is to conduct more tests and improve infrastructure…We have planned to set up COVID-19 units at all the state-run and private hospitals in Bengal,” news agency PTI reported quoting government officials. In the first phase, the units will be set up in the state general hospitals of South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and Purba and Paschim Medinipore districts.
After Kerala, West Bengal is the second state to admit community transmission of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association also added that community transmission has started in the country. However, the central government is yet to confirm that.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines