West Bengal Extends Lockdown Till June 15

371 new Coronavirus cases reported in West Bengal today as total cases surge past 5000. The state government decided to extend lockdown to June 15.

Cases in West Bengal are steeply rising as total cases in the state stand at 5501. Out of the total cases, 3027 are active while 317 patients have passed away.

As seen on the graph, since the beginning of May, Coronavirus cases in West Bengal are rising at a concerning pace.

Containment Zones

The West Bengal government has divided the containment zone into three categories:

Category A: No activities including economic and social permitted in category A zones. Strict barricading and regular disinfection to follow in these areas. Food and necessities to be delivered by authorities to homes in category A red zones.

Category B and C: As per new directions economic activities to open including industries, offices including private and government, construction, salons, hotels, restaurants, etc. Intra-state buses and cabs to start operations. Also, courier and e-commerce delivery services to remain operational.

Green Zones

Green zones to get back to normal life with masks and social distancing.

Further, religious places to reopen on June 01 with certain restrictions. Only ten devotees allowed at one time and gatherings to remain forbidden.

Shopping Malls, hotels and restaurants to open on June 08 in West Bengal.

Industries such as mining, jute mills and tea gardens to resume with 100% workforce effective from first of June.

Indo-American Doctor Warns Mamta Banerjee on COVID-19

Dr Indranill Basu Ray, an eminent Tennessee-based cardiologist, wrote to Mamta Banerjee about the risks of the Coronavirus in West Bengal. He said that the state government must not take anything for granted as the state is exceptionally crowded. It should maintain strict social distancing and follow other preventive measures to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading like a fire. Stating the virus as a killing machine, Ray said that that the government should not take lockdown and isolation for granted and must plan for aggressive testing.

Row Over State’s Coronavirus Data Leads to Health Secretary Getting Transferred

The West Bengal government took action over the dismal performance of the state in tackling the crisis. CM Mamta Banerjee transferred health secretary Vivek Kumar to the environment department over discrepancies in the state’s coronavirus data. To this, BJP leaders stated that the Central government had rightly accused the state of providing misleading data. Consequently, the transfer was ordered. CPI (M) central committee member said that the government should have taken the decision much earlier.

Hotspots in West Bengal 

Kolkata district recorded the highest number of cases with a total of 2125 cases. While Howrah remains the second most affected district with 1029 cases. 24 North Parganas and Hooghly districts have recorded 735 and 299 cases respectively. That apart, there are at least eight other districts under the radar to possibly become hotspots. They are South 24 Parganas, Uttar Dinajpur, Purba Medinipur, Murshidabad, Malda, Nadia, Purba Barddhaman and Birbhum.

Intermittent Workdays for Health Workers 

Bearing in mind the safety and rest for health workers, Bengal CM advised 7-days work followed by 7-days leave. Accordingly, Chief Secretary Sinha is in charge of implementing the said mechanism of work. Also, CM is trying to reduce the work hours of police personnel.

Low Testing 

West Bengal conducted only 2264 tests per million that compared to other states is low. The state researchers argued that they could efficiently do more than 10000 tests per day. But they point out that medical fraternity isn’t submitting that many samples.

Farmers struggle 

Farmers face severe losses due to the lockdown. This has them questioning the necessity of social distancing. Also, the fields are empty due to no labourers as they don’t have sowing and tilling support.

Death Rate and Cured Cases

The coronavirus death rate in West Bengal is at an alarming level of 5.76% compared to the national average of 2.83%. Although the state maintains that 72 deaths are due to other medical conditions, still when compared to other states, the fatality rate is at a frightening level. Cured cases stand at 1970 in West Bengal.

In addition, the unlock phase one gives way to the reopening of the state and national economy.

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