Restrictions on public transport, educational institutions to continue, says Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the COVID-19 related restrictions in the State will be extended till June 15. The State is already under restrictions to contain the spread of pandemic till May 31.
The Chief Minister also announced that the State Board examinations for classes XII and X will be held in the last week of July and second week of August respectively.
‘Not a lockdown’
“The COVID situation has improved because of the restrictions so we extending it till June 15,” Ms. Banerjee said. The Chief Minister maintained that these restrictions do not amount as “lock down” as shops are opening for three hours a day.
All public transport including metro railway services and local train including buses will remain closed in this period. School colleges and other educational institutions including factories will also remain closed.
The Chief Minister also added that certain relaxations have been allowed for jute industries where the attendance has been increased from 30 % to 40 % of the total work force.
Ms. Banerjee said she was not in favour of complete shutdown of economic activities but maintained that no outdoor activity will be allowed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Meanwhile, the number of infections in the State dropped to about 16,000. On Wednesday the State had recorded 153 deaths due to the viral infection.
Exams scaled down
The Class XII Board Examination, which around 8 lakh students are scheduled to take, will be held in last week of July while the Class X Higher Secondary examination, for which about 12 lakh students have enrolled, will be held in the second week of August.
The Chief Minister said instead of three hours, the papers will be scaled down to 90 minutes. She added that examinations will be held for compulsory subjects only and students will be allowed to take exams at their home centres.