In a new development amid series of disagreements between the Centre and West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee, now the MHA has written to the state on the closure of the border with Bangladesh. In a letter sent by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, the MHA has said that the Mamata government has taken unilateral action to stop cross-border movement of essential goods along the border with Bangladesh. The MHA has said that the decision will have larger international implications. Directing the state government to open the border, MHA has said that a large number of trucks carrying essential supplies to Bangladesh are stranded at different border crossing points, and such action by the state is a violation of the Disaster Management Act.
The central team deployed by the Union Health Ministry to assist the Health Department in containing the COVID-19 pandemic chalked out plans here on Tuesday for its next course of action, a source said.
There was no meeting between members of the central team with any of the West Bengal government representatives, according to the source. The team members on Tuesday chalked out their plans and will hold a video conference with senior officials of the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday for advise on their next steps, the source said. Twenty central public health teams have been deployed to as many districts with high incidence of COVID-19 to identify the loopholes and help the state governments in implementing them.
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Last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification extending the nationwide lockdown by 2 weeks till May 17. On Tuesday, the Telangana government announces an extension of lockdown till May 29. While India has announced considerable relaxations in Lockdown 3.0, it has also divided the states and the districts into Red, Green and Orange zones classified based on total active cases, doubling rate, the extent of testing and surveillance. Currently, as per Centre, there are 130 districts red zone districts, 284 orange zone districts, 319 green zone districts. India has till May 6 reported 46711 cases with 1583 deaths, 13160 cured/discharged/migrated.
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