West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that there were no plans to impose a lockdown in the state amid the surge in coronavirus cases, India Today reported. Meanwhile, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said there was no guarantee that a lockdown will break the chain of transmission, indicating that the state may not enforce it, according to PTI.
Banerjee asked how people will sustain themselves if a lockdown was put in place again. “Will just a lockdown solve the problem?” she added, according to Deccan Herald. “People have to be given some time. The cases are rising also because thousands of people are coming in from outside. People will suffer if we impose a lockdown.”
Banerjee told reporters in Malda that her government was handling the health crisis on a war footing. She added that the state’s bed capacity was being increased amid the sharp increase in cases. “We have added 1,000 beds already and another 3,500 beds will be added over the next few days,” Banerjee said, according to India Today. “There are 100 government and 58 private dedicated Covid hospitals.”
West Bengal registered 8,426 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking its overall count of infections since the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020 to 6,68,353. The state’s toll rose by 38 to 10,606.
Banerjee cancelled election campaigning in Kolkata in view of the coronavirus situation. Three more rounds of the Assembly elections are scheduled to take place on April 22, 26 and 29. Results will be declared on May 2.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat deputy chief minister said no state had enforced a complete lockdown. “In many countries and [Indian] states, we have seen that even after persistent lockdowns many cases of coronavirus have emerged,” Patel added, according to PTI.
Patel added that lakhs would be left jobless if a lockdown was imposed. “In the first phase [in 2020], we had implemented a long lockdown to break the chain of virus,” he added. “But in this second phase, the infection is spreading very fast and if you go for a partial lockdown, it will not help.”
Last week, the Gujarat government had extended the timing of night curfews imposed in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot amid the surge in cases.
‘No need for complete lockdown,’ says UP government
The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday said that weekend curfews will stay in place to combat the rise in cases and a full lockdown was not needed, ANI reported.
Amid the surge in cases, the government said that it was augmenting bed capacity and setting up three new oxygen plants.
The Allahabad High Court had on Monday criticised the Uttar Pradesh for the worsening situation and ordered a lockdown in Lucknow, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Kanpur and Gorakhpur till April 26. However, the state government has refused to follow the order.
The state recorded 28,287 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking its tally of infections since the beginning of the pandemic past 8.8 lakh. The state’s toll rose by 167 to 9,997.