As the country nears the end of lockdown 2.0, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a slew of relaxations in the state on Wednesday. The relaxations, however, applicable to only green zones and non-containment areas comes after the state tally of positive COVID cases reaches 725 with 119 individuals recovering. The state has also witnessed 22 deaths due to the deadly virus.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the West Bengal CM announced that private buses shall ply in the state from May 4 i.e. a day after the nationwide lockdown ends. However, only 20 people will be allowed on a bus and maintaining social distance and wearing masks remains compulsory. Mamata Banerjee has also announced that single-unit shops such as stationery shops, electronics, hardware, mobile, laundry, tea and paan shops will be allowed to open in green zones in the state from May 1. Although, she warned that people should not gather at tea or paan shops. Factories and construction activities will also be allowed to resume work in green zones.
The Bengal CM clarified that these relaxations will not be applicable in containment zones and urged everyone to stay indoors mostly even after May 3.
The Home Ministry has also hinted at relaxations in many districts from May 4 onwards. Taking to Twitter, spokesperson of the Home Ministry stated that the new guidelines will come into effect from May 4 and the details will be communicated in the days to come.
New guidelines to fight #COVID19 will come into effect from 4th May, which shall give considerable relaxations to many districts. Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come.#Corona Update#StayHomeStaySafe @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) April 29, 2020
The Bengal government has also sent 101 buses to bring back more than 2500 stranded students in Rajasthan's Kota. The buses will be categorised in three zones which shall carry students residing in the respective zone. These zones are Kolkata, Siliguri and Asansol.