To curb the coronavirus spread in the state, the West Bengal government today has extended the biweekly lockdown till August 31. There will be a complete shutdown across the state for two days every week. "We are extending the two-day lockdown every week in the state, which was in force till July 31, till August 31," West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced today.
Mamata Benerjee-led state government implemented the biweekly lokcdown last week. The next lockdown is scheduled on July 29. In August, there will be strict lockdown across the state on 5th, 8th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th and 31st, Banerjee added. The lockdown in the containment zone has also been extended till August 31, the chief minister said today.
"The biweekly lockdown will be implemented mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. But since festivals like Eid as also Independence Day are happening on Saturdays, lockdown will be enforced on some other day," Banerjee said.
Also read: West Bengal lockdown: Here's the full schedule. What's allowed, what's not
All the government and private offices, commercial establishments, public and private transport will remain shut. Only the essential services will be functional. Petrol pumps are allowed to open. The functioning of courts, work in agricultural fields and tea gardens, intra-state and inter-state goods movements and home delivery of cooked food will be permitted.
The domestic flight services from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport in Kolkata were suspended in the wake of lockdown in the state. On the extension of flight cancellations on those days when the full lockdown is implemented in West Bengal, the official said the state government will take the final decision. "Most probably, it will be extended to all lockdown days. But the state government will make an announcement," the official added.
The state government earlier banned all the passenger flights to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Nagpur and Ahmedabad till July 31.
The Eastern Railway also cancelled special trains that were scheduled to originate from or arrive at some stations in West Bengal on Wednesday.
The state recorded a record number of cases today. At least 2,112 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The total number of coronavirus cases in the state stood at 60,830.
The number of active coronavirus patients increased to 19,502. On the brighter side, 2,166 people recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cured COVID-19 patients to 39,917. Over 65% of the total coronavirus patients were cured from the infectiom.
Mamata Banerjee on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear the state's financial dues to tackle COVID-19 situation. "I have two to three requests for the Centre. First, I would like to tell you (the prime minister) that the financial burden of the state is increasing every day. For COVID-19, we have spent ₹2,500 crore so far, but have received only ₹125 crore from the NHM (National Health Mission)," Banerjee said.
"Our state is yet to receive dues of ₹53,000 crore from the Centre. I would like to request the PM to help clear at least a portion of the dues so that we can continue doing our work," she further added.