West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said experts from the state have suggested that restrictions imposed to control Covid-19 in the state should continue till the end of May, PTI reported. Banerjee, however, said that some restrictions would be eased in non-hotspot areas.
West Bengal has over 700 cases of the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Twenty-two people have died of Covid-19 in the state.
“Nobody can say when this crisis will end,” Banerjee said, according to the news agency. “Most of the countries have already announced the lockdown till the end of May and the first week of June. Our experts and doctors believe that the restrictions regarding Covid-19 should continue till the end of May.”
“The graph of infection might go down after that but it might again show an upward trend during the rainy season in July and August,” she added.
Banerjee added that her government will ease certain restrictions in non-hotspot areas. “There will be relaxations in green zone and orange zone where standalone shops of essential items will remain open,” she was quoted as saying by ANI. “There will be no relaxation for containment areas.”
The state government might allow tea stalls, cigarette shops, buses and taxis in green zones, according to NDTV.
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The chief minister also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for politicising the attack on policemen in Howrah on Tuesday. “The BJP is making a hue and cry over the attack on policemen in Howrah,” she said. “What about assault on policemen in BJP-ruled states?”
The Bengal chief minister has clashed with the Centre over the visit of inter-ministerial central teams to review the Covid-19 situation in the state. Her government has also been accused by the BJP of fudging Covid-19 figures.
On Monday, Banerjee and her counterparts from other states had discussed the post-lockdown strategy to deal with the coronavirus crisis with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via a video-conference. The chief ministers of several states had suggested that the nationwide lockdown, which is supposed to last till May 3, be extended for the second time. Punjab has extended its curfew till May 17.