Battling a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, the West Bengal government on Tuesday decided to impose a strict lockdown from 5 p.m. on July 9 in containment zones and buffer zones after merging them.
“These broader containment zones may be subjected to strict lockdown,” State Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said in an order addressed to officials, including district magistrates, the municipal commissioner of Kolkata and the city police commissioner.
The lockdown will impose tough restrictions on the functioning of government and private offices, non-essential activities, public gatherings, transportation and marketing of goods, and industrial and trading activities.
The order said, “Residents of containment zones may be exempted and prohibited from attending government and private offices. In fact, their ingress and egress may be strictly regulated.” The order said local authorities could make arrangements to home deliver essentials to residents of containment zones.
Firhad Hakim, chairman of the board of administrators, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), said there was an urgent need to restrict movement of people, particularly in markets.
According to the KMC, 33 areas have been declared as containment zones based on the tally of cases in these areas between June 22 and July 4.
A total shutdown will also be imposed in parts of Englishbazar in Malda district, and Barrackpore and Bidhnanagar police commissionerates in North 24 Parganas district.
Earlier, State BJP president Dilip Ghosh raised concerns over the State government’s approach in dealing with the pandemic. “The novel coronavirus cases are rising at a rate of 1,000 a day. Yesterday, the number of deaths was 22, but the government is only allowing more relaxations,” he said.
25 die of COVID-19
West Bengal recorded 25 more COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, taking the State’s death toll to 804. While 10 deaths were reported in Kolkata, nine were reported from North 24 Parganas district.
The State also recorded 850 new cases in the past 24 hours. Of the total case tally, 7,243 are active. The testing rate in the State remains low, with only 10,130 tests being conducted in the past 24 hours.