Amid a spike in coronavirus cases, Bengal has declared strict lockdown from 5 pm on Thursday in redesignated and newly expanded containment zones across Kolkata and the rest of the state. Large parts of Kolkata, among the country’s worst-hit by the virus, will shut down.
Earlier, the state was divided into three categories: affected zones, buffer zones and clean zones or ABC. Now affected and buffer zones are being merged. An updated list of the newly expanded containment zones will be shared by the government tomorrow.
All offices — Private and government — will be shut and transport banned in containment zones across the state from 5 pm, Thursday.
Non-essential activities will not be allowed. Shopping malls and industries will shut down. No congregations will be allowed and the entry and exit in containment zones will be controlled to check the spread of COVID-19.
Till 1st July Kolkata had 18 containment zones and 1,872 isolation units. The list is being revised and sources say the name is up to 33 now. It is to be notified.
Of some 861 cases reported from the state on Monday, Kolkata recorded 281. Bengal, which places eighth among the top 10 worst-affected states, has close to 23,000 COVID-19 cases and 779 deaths.
Earlier this week, district authorities were permitted to act as per local requirement. As a result. three municipal areas in Malda district will be locked down from tomorrow for a week. The Dalkhola municipal area in North Dinajpur district is also headed for a total lockdown from tomorrow.
After Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s request, flights to Kolkata from hotspot cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Nagpur and Ahmedabad were suspended yesterday. The suspension will continue till July 19. The frequency of trains from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi have also been cut from seven days a week to just once.
India’s coronavirus count crossed the seven lakh-mark on Monday. 22,252 fresh cases and 467 deaths in the last 24 has pushed the total cases in the country to 7,19,665 and the death count to 20,160. India is the third worst-hit nation after overtaking Russia.