Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, in her address, on April 29, said that doctors are of the opinion that the restrictions should remain effective till May end. However, the CM announced a few relaxations amidst the ongoing second phase of the lockdown.
The CM said that as per the new MHA guidelines for lockdown 2.0 and relaxations under it, standalone shops and neighbourhood shops will be reopened and the bus and taxi services will resume in the green zones. Stressing on the preventive measures, she said, social distancing should not be compromised and all the necessary preventive measures should be ensured.
Apart from the relaxations during the lockdown 2.0, the CM said that the State Government has made arrangements to bring back 2,500-3,000 students who are stranded in the coaching hub of Kota in Rajasthan and they are likely to reach Bengal in next three days.
“Nobody can say when this crisis will end. Most of the countries have already announced the lockdown till the end of May and the first week of June. Our experts and doctors believe that the restrictions regarding Covid-19 should continue till the end of May,” she said.
The graph of infection might go down after that but it might again show an upward trend during the rainy season in July and August, she said.
“We had announced the lockdown before the Centre did it. Till now the situation has not improved, so it is not possible to revert everything to normal. So, for a few more days, we have to follow the restrictions and continue with the lockdown. It may be 100 per cent in some areas or partial in other areas. My appeal to all of you not to venture out of their homes now,” she said.
Banerjee, further announced that from May 4, restrictions will be eased in the green and orange zones in the state where stand-alone shops of non-essential items will be opened. However, for the containment zones, the CM said there are no relaxations. Clearing out the relaxation terms she added that only standalone and neighbourhood shop will be allowed to resume functions and no shop in markets, shopping complexes or malls and no street-side stalls and hawkers will return to business.
The CM also said that the police will carry surveys to see which all shops are functioning. Apart from shops, the CM announced that the factories in green zones can return to business but by complying with the protocols set by the Centre and the State.
On resuming public transport in the green zones, she said that buses will be allowed to ply in green zones but will not carry more than 20 passengers at a time. Similarly, the CM also allowed taxis to operate but with no more than three passengers at a time. Moreover, regular sanitization of the vehicles should be sterilized on a regular basis.