The West Bengal government on Monday announced a complete lockdown in the state for two days every week, in order to stem the rising number of coronavirus infections, PTI reported. Madhya Pradesh also announced a two-day lockdown each week, but only in districts with a high number of cases.

West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said the decision was taken after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state Secretariat in Kolkata.

“There are a few places in the state where community transmission of Covid-19 has been detected,” Bandyopadhyay told reporters. “After talking to experts, doctors, enforcement authorities, and the police, we have decided to impose complete lockdown for two days every week in the entire state to break the chain.” No offices or transport services will operate on these days, he added.

“This week, the total lockdown will be in force on Thursday [July 23] and Saturday [July 25],” Bandyopadhyay said. “Next week, the shutdown will be clamped on Wednesday [July 29].” The government will hold a review meeting on July 27 to assess the future course of action, the home secretary added.

On Sunday, the state recorded its highest single-day rise in cases and deaths, with 2,278 new infections and 36 fatalities. The total number of cases is now 42,487, and the number of active cases 16,492. Of the 36 deaths on Sunday, 15 were recorded from Kolkata. The list of containment zones in the state rose to 763.

On July 7, West Bengal had announced a complete lockdown in containment zones from 5 pm on July 9. On June 24, Banerjee extended the partial lockdown in the state till July 31. On July 4, the state government banned incoming flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad – six cities most affected by the pandemic, until July 19.

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that there will be a two-day lockdown each week in districts with high incidence of the coronavirus, PTI reported. One of these days will be Sunday, he said. There will be night curfew from 8 pm to 5 am in all districts.

“In a bid to prevent coronavirus infection, there will now be lockdown in districts with high infection rate for two consecutive days in a week,” Chouhan told reporters. “All activities, except essential services, will be restricted during this period.” While Sunday will be one of the lockdown days, the other could be Monday or Saturday, at the discretion of the district crisis management group, the chief minister said.

Chouhan also said all offices of the state and central governments will function with 30% to 50% capacity in all districts except the unaffected ones, where they will work at full strength. However, as of Monday, all 52 districts in the state have active coronavirus cases.

Private offices and business establishments will also function with 30% to 50% capacity. “However, if a positive case is detected, private offices and establishments would be shut for seven days,” Chouhan said. He also urged people to celebrate upcoming festivals inside their homes.

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