Local gov't in India's West Bengal announces 2-week lockdown to contain COVID-19

2021-05-15 10:06:17 GMT2021-05-15 18:06:17(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NEW DELHI, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Local government in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal on Saturday announced a 14-day lockdown amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The lockdown will come into force from Sunday morning and will be in place until May 30.

As per the new directive, all government and private offices will remain closed, except emergency services. Intra-state bus services, metro, ferry service, gyms, cinema halls, salons and swimming pools have also been ordered to remain shut.

"Movement of all private vehicles, taxi and auto will be suspended from tomorrow. Schools will also remain closed," said West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay.

"All outdoor activities, except emergency needs, will be prohibited from 9:00 p.m. (local time) until 5:00 a.m. (local time) in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases."

All markets and retailers are allowed to function only between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. to allow people to make essential purchases.

The lockdown announcement comes a day after West Bengal logged its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases.

India has been hit by a devastating second wave of COVID-19 infections. The federal health ministry Saturday morning said West Bengal recorded 20,846 new cases and 136 related deaths in the past 24 hours.

The federal government has authorized states to decide on the imposition of lockdown to contain COVID-19.

The federal health ministry Saturday morning said 326,098 new COVID-19 cases and 3,890 related deaths were registered during the past 24 hours across the country. Enditem