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West Bengal orders complete lockdown for two weeks till May 30 amid surge in cases

West Bengal orders complete lockdown for two weeks till May 30 amid surge in cases

West Bengal will be under a complete lockdown from Sunday till May 30 in view of the surge in coronavirus cases, PTI reported on Saturday.

All government and private offices, schools, shopping malls, cinema halls, bars and beauty parlours will remain shut during this period, West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said. Private and public transport, including Kolkata Metro services, will also remain prohibited.

Bandyopadhyay said that the lockdown will not affect essential services such as petrol pumps and the supply of milk, water and medicines. E-commerce services and home delivery is also permitted.

Shops selling essentials will only be allowed to stay open from 7 am to 10 am. However, vendors selling sweets can operate between 10 am and 5 pm, according to NDTV.

No cultural, religious, academic, cultural and political gatherings will be allowed during the lockdown period, ANI reported. The attendance at weddings has been capped at 50.

All outdoor activities, expect those for emergency reasons, will be prohibited from 9 pm to 5 am from Sunday.

Tea gardens in West Bengal will be allowed to operate at 50% of their strength, NDTV reported.

West Bengal registered over 20,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking its total count of infections to 10,94,802 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The state’s toll rose by 136 to 12,993.

On Saturday morning, India reported 3,26,098 new Covid-19 cases and 3,890 deaths. This pushed the country’s case count to 2,43,72,907 and toll to 2,66,207 since the outbreak of the pandemic in January. India has been battling a severe second wave of the coronavirus, with hospitals across the country struggling with acute shortages of oxygen, beds and medical supplies.

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