West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday allowed restaurants in the State to operate with limited capacity from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. after fully vaccinating its staff and maintaining COVID-19 protocol.
Ms. Banerjee held a meeting of different chambers of commerce who sought her permission to open restaurants. The Chief Minister, however, refused permission to allow malls and shopping complexes in the city to open and said a decision on the request would be taken after June 16. The State government has extended the curbs and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic till June 16. Local train and metro services have been suspended in the State and markets are grocery shops are allowed to open from noon to 3 p.m.
The relaxations for restaurants follows the drop in COVID-19 infections in the State. On June 2, the State saw 8,923 new cases and 135 deaths. A few weeks ago, the number of daily infections had crossed over 20,000.
During the meeting, Ms Banerjee urged the representatives of chamber of commerce to help the government in the vaccination drive. The Chief Minister said the industries should ensure that their workers are vaccinated. Industries should get in touch with the State health department to ensure that more and more staff are vaccinated.
Vaccine bus launched
The State government has converted a bus into a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The ‘vaccination on wheels’ initiative has been started by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in association with the health and transport departments.
State’s Minister Firhad Hakim said there were many people who could not go to a vaccination centre, hence the State government had decided to bring the facility to their doorsteps. According to officials, there are several buses available which can be used to vaccinate people in different parts of the city.