West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced the extension of partial lockdown in state till August 31. "We are extending the partial lockdown in the state, which was in force till July 31, till August 31," she said. Making an exemption, Banerjee said that there will be no lockdown in the state on August 1st on the occasion of Bakr Eid.
Banerjee further informed that complete lockdown will be observed in the state on 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th and 31st August.
Addressing a press conference, the chief minister said schools and colleges will remain closed till August 31 and a decision on their reopening will be taken in September.
"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," she said.
However, after the announcement, the govt had received requests and appeals from different quarters not to observe lockdown on certain dates coinciding with festivals and important community occasions and respecting sentiments, complete lockdown announcement for 2nd and 9th August has been withdrawn, West Bengal Home Dept confirmed.
All the government and private offices, commercial establishments, public and private transport will remain shut during the lockdown. 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.
Earlier, the West Bengal government has decided to cancel all the flights and trains on the next biweekly lockdown. According to a report by PTI, an official from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport confirmed the flight suspension on next Wednesday.
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 July 29.
The state had reported over 60,000 COVID-19 cases till Monday.