BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: The West Bengal government is in favour of extending the lockdown till May 21. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at Nabanna soon after attending the video-con with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday that her government will take a decision on this after the Centre spells out its stand on the issue.
“But we are in favour of extending the lockdown. We will wait for a couple of days before deciding on this,” the CM told reporters.
Prime Minister Modi’s shutdown ends of May 3.
Mamata said that the Centre’s decision on many matters is confusing. “On the one hand they are saying open the shops and on the other the Centre is stressing on strict adherence to lockdown rules. If shops are open then people will go out. How can I implement lockdown at the same time?” she said.
On Monday, Mamata alleged that the central government is taking decisions without even consulting states. The chief minister regretted the fact that she was not allowed to present Bengal’s point of view in Monday’s video conference. “But it seems that the Prime Minister is in favour of extending the lockdown. But I cannot understand for how long,” Mamata said.
On Monday, the CM announced the formation of a COVID Management Committee to supervise coronavirus management in the state. Four cabinet ministers — Amit Mitra, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Partha Chattopadhyay and Firhad Hakim — along with the chief secretary and health secretary will be in the committee. Amit Mitra will be the chairman of the panel and he will report to the chief minister.
Meanwhile, Kolkata, Howrah, East Midnapore and North 24 Parganas in the state have been categorised as red zones. There are eight districts in West Bengal categorised as ‘Green Zone’ and there are Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram. The 11 districts in the orange zones are South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, West Midnapore, East Burdwan, West Burdwan, Kalimpong, Nadia, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Murshidabad, and Malda.
On Monday, 47 fresh COVID-19 cases have been reported in West Bengal in the last 24 hours. The total number of coronavirus cases in the state have reached 504. 1,150 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. 12043 samples have tested so far in the state.
The chief minister has also allowed the home delivery of non-essential items in the state. Though the Union Home Ministry on April 19 prohibited e-commerce companies from selling non-essential items amid, Mamata said one can get non-essential items by ordering on the phone or buying online. She said until there is clarity on the Centre’s decision regarding the lockdown, such method of business will continue in Bengal.