Cinema halls and swimming pools in West Bengal can operate at 50 per cent capacity from Sunday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced today, as the state extended COVID-19 restrictions till August 31, with some relaxations.
Night restrictions in Bengal have also been eased amid declining number of COVID-19 cases. Earlier, the night curfew in the state was imposed between 9 pm to 5 am, which will now be in place from 11 pm to 5 am. Along with this, the government has also eased traffic restrictions in the state, allowing traffic to ply during the new night curfew. Earlier, traffic was prohibited from 9pm in a bid to curb the spread of the infection.
Additionally, the government also announced that local trains will not be allowed to operate till August 31 in the state, adding that these trains will only be functional after the target of 50 per cent vaccination is achieved in the state.
Addressing a press conference, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “We will run local trains as soon as we are able to complete 50% vaccinations in state.”
Ms Banerjee also added that the state needs to be prepared for a possible third wave of the pandemic.
Earlier, the government had extended the restrictions till August 15, but had allowed government programmes at indoor facilities with 50 per cent seating capacity and buses, taxis and autorickshaws to operate with 50 per cent capacity. In the earlier order, offices, both government and private were also allowed to function with half the manpower.
On Wednesday, West Bengal logged 700 fresh COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths which pushed the tally in the state to 15,35,699 and the death count to 18,258, a health department bulletin showed. The state currently has 10,163 active cases. During the same period, 746 people recuperated from the disease, taking the total number of recovered persons to 15, 07, 278, the bulletin added.