KOLKATA: Restrictions enforced in West Bengal to fight Covid-19 will continue till May 21 with curbs on normal life varying in intensity based on the extent of spread of the viral infection in a particular area, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday.
"We want the restrictions to continue till May 21. We have to be careful till that time," Banerjee told media persons at the state secretariat Nabanna.
The Chief Minister, however, clarified that she was not announcing any extension on lockdown, as that decision will be taken by the central government.
"I am talking of restrictions, which is different from the lockdown," she added.
Banerjee said while the restrictions would be strictly implemented in every red zone (areas with large number of corona positive cases), the impact will be less severe in orange zones (areas with a limited number of cases in the past and with no surge in positive cases recently, where restricted activities would be allowed).
Districts with no coronavirus positive cases are included in green zones.
"If an area which is now an orange zone, shows an increase in the prevalence of the disease and enters the red zone, the restrictions will be made stiffer, and vice versa. There will be more relaxations given in the green zones, but the areas will be placed under stiffer restrictions if more positive cases are detected putting them under orange or red zone categories," she said.
The Chief Minister announced formation of a cabinet committee on Covid management, chaired by Finance and Industries Minister Amit Mitra. Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim and Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhatttacharya will be part of the committee. Mitra and Chatterjee will work from home.
The Chief Secretary, the Health Secretary, and the Home Secretary will be among the committee members.
Banerjee said her government was discussing on resuming more activities in rural areas which come under the green zone.
She announced that home delivery companies, which were so long allowed to ferry only essential goods, would now be permitted to reach non-essential items also.
"We have to think of giving relaxations that won't harm the people," she said.
She said though relaxations have been given on 100 days's job guarantee scheme, the problem was in getting labourers.
The Chief Minister appealed to the centre to ensure international borders were closed, and not not allow domestic and international flights, and train services till the situation normalises. Inter-state bus services or travel also should not be allowed, except for emergencies.