Bengal will not fully lift Covid restrictions just yet


Though the spread of coronavirus has reduced significantly in West Bengal, however, considering the upward curve of the infection in neighbouring states like Odisha and Tripura has forced the Mamata Banerjee government to not consider lifting off the Covid-19 restrictions fully just yet.

“The state government has given some relaxations and that has accelerated the pace of business in the state.

“In the present situation the state is not likely to consider the option of lifting all the restrictions because that might lead to fresh spread of the virus. We are keeping a close watch on the developments in the neighbouring states. We will consider all the options before taking the final decision,” a senior official of the state government said.

On June 28, in the last review meeting the state government had lifted some restrictions allowing businesses and the partial movement of people.

According to data released by the state health department in the second half of June, the daily infection rate hovered around 2,000 per day but now the daily infection rate, for the last seven days, has gone down beyond 1,000 providing some relief to the state government.

“We have opened up the transport system partially allowing intracity and intercity bus services, ferry services and metro services but the situation is not yet conducive enough to start local trains.

“The local trains transport a large number of passengers, opening up the possibility of spreading of the virus rapidly. Naturally the state might take some time before opening up local train services. Presently the state is also against any kind of rallies and ceremonies,” the official added.

According to the experts, the third wave is yet to come and none is aware of effects of new variants and the infection rate of the third wave.

“Though nationally the infection level is slowing down, there are some states like Tripura, Odisha, Maharashtra where the graph is taking an upward curve. The situation is such that the Centre had to send a central team to assess the situation in these states.

“Moreover, in Bangladesh also the infection rate is increasing rapidly. As such the experts are of the opinion not to give unchecked liberty to the people.”

The present restrictions imposed on the state are till July 15.

“The state is likely to give some more relaxations like the time of business might be increased and there might be more buses and metros on the road but there is very little possibility of complete relaxation,” the senior official said.