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West Bengal Covid restrictions extended till 31 Aug, night curfew hours relaxed. Details here

Inter-state passenger bus operators wait for passengers in Kolkata, India, Wednesday. (AP)Premium
Inter-state passenger bus operators wait for passengers in Kolkata, India, Wednesday. (AP)

  • Announcing the extension of Covid restrictions, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, 'We are aiming to accelerate vaccine drive in suburbs around Kolkata, if we get them. Until 50% vaccination doesn't happen in rural India, local trains won't operate till then'

The West Bengal government on Thursday extended the Covid-related restrictions in the state till 31 August, announced Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. CM Banerjee said the night hours during which stringent restrictions are imposed will be reduced.

The night curfew will be relaxed by two hours in Bengal and will now be effective from 11 pm to 5 am. Currently, the night curfew is being enforced from 9 pm to 5 am.

The Covid-19 restrictions, first imposed on 16 May amid the second wave of the pandemic and extended at regular intervals, were about to expire on 15 August.

"The Covid situation in Bengal is quite good but the danger of the third wave is still lurking. This is one of the reasons we have not allowed local trains," the chief minister said, addressing a press meet.

"So, we have decided to extend the ongoing coronavirus restrictions for 15 more days till 30 August," CM Banerjee added.

The chief minister said that Bengal was not getting the required doses of vaccines. "We are aiming to accelerate Covid-19 vaccine drive in suburbs around Kolkata, if we get them," she said.

"Until 50% vaccination doesn't happen in rural India, local trains won't operate till then," the CM stated.

To decongest the prisons, CM Banerjee announced that her government will release 73 life convicts.

"On 2 August, we had announced to prematurely release 63 life convicts on humanitarian grounds. Today, we have decided to release 73 more life convicts," she said.

Meanwhile, six people died of coronavirus in Bengal on Wednesday, taking the death toll to 18,258, while 700 new cases pushed the tally to 15,35,699, a bulletin issued by the health department said.

Kolkata and its neighbouring South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly districts reported no Covid-related deaths while North 24 Parganas accounted for one fatality.

West Bengal currently has 10,163 active Covid-19 cases. In the last 24 hours, 746 people recuperated from the infection, taking the total number of recovered persons to 15, 07, 278, the bulletin said.

The state has thus far tested 1,62,09,825 samples for coronavirus, including 47,011 since Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the health department directed the Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Purba Medinipur district administrations to remain alert in the wake of its survey which found a rising number of coronavirus cases in the three districts and a probability of a surge in infections in the coming weeks, an official said.

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