Police and civic authorities enforce closure of markets and shops after specified timings
A 15-day lockdown in West Bengal began on Sunday with near-total restrictions imposed on all outdoor activities. Police and civic authorities were seen enforcing closure of markets and shops after the specified timing. The State administration has allowed sale of essential items for three hours amid the shutdown — from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. There was elaborate police checking at roads and arterial intersections across Kolkata and hundreds of people and vehicles were intercepted and prosecuted for violating the lockdown restrictions.
Few people and vehicles were spotted on the roads on the first day of lockdown. Metro services and services of local trains remain suspended till May 30 when the restrictions are in place.
While the number of daily infections in West Bengal marginally dropped to 19,117, the State recorded 147 deaths in the past 24 hours. Along with Kolkata and North 24 Parganas, which recorded 33 and 39 deaths respectively, South 24 Parganas district is emerging as a hot spot with 16 deaths in the past 24 hours. The samples tested for COVID-19 have also dropped over the weekend. The number of active cases has marginally dropped to 1,31,805.
Several prominent religious places, including Dakshineshwar Kali Temple in Kolkata and Tarapith Temple in Birbhum district have been closed for devotees till May 30.
There were few instances of violation of lockdown across the State. At Siliguri in north Bengal, three BJP MLAs — Shankar Ghosh, Anandamoy Burman and Sikha Chattopadhyay — were taken into custody and released while they were protesting against the State government for failure to contain the COVID situation in north Bengal. In another incident, Trinamool Congress supporters took out a victory procession at Jagatballapur in Howrah district.
With the 15-day restrictions in place, the State Board Examinations for Class X and Class XII might not be held in May. A final decision will be taken in next few days.