KOLKATA: West Bengal is heading for a week-long partial lockdown in containment zones beginning from 5 pm on Thursday to curb the spread of coronavirus cases.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier announced that lockdown will be imposed in containment zones in West Bengal for seven days from 5 pm on Thursday to check the surge in novel coronavirus cases.
The Chief Minister also directed the police to be strict with those violating norms put in place in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This lockdown in containment zones in West Bengal will continue for seven days from 5 pm Thursday. Will review the situation after seven days and then decide the next course of action on lockdown," Mamata Banerjee said at the state secretariat here on Wednesday.
‘’If it is seen that the number of cases is coming down during this period, then some relaxations will be announced,” Banerjee said.
The West Bengal government had on Tuesday decided to expand the areas under lockdown and impose tougher restrictions from July 9 to stem the relentless spike in COVID-19 cases.
The state on Wednesday witnessed the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases with 986 fresh infections taking the state's case count to 24,823, the health department said in a bulletin.
"We are imposing the lockdown in small containment zones because there are some areas where the number of COVID-19 cases are going up every day. People must wear masks. Asked police to be strict. Send them back home if they are not wearing masks... And do not allow them to come out unless they are wearing it," Banerjee said.
"Will it be good if I start imposing fine of Rs 2,000 (for not wearing masks) to a person who does not have the ability to pay it. But, that won't solve the problem," she said.
The week-long partial lockdown will be effective in containment zones reporting highest number of COVID-19 cases.
According to reports, the areas will be completely sealed, and barricades have been put up. The police will be posted outside to ensure people don’t enter or exit the containment zones.
In case of a medical emergency, police will respond to that. All private and government offices inside the containment zones will be closed.
Internal transport like auto, toto, cabs will not be allowed to ply inside the containment zones. After a week, an assessment will be carried out whether more zones are to be added or not also.