Coronavirus: West Bengal, Mizoram extend lockdown

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West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee

AIZAWL/KOLKATA: Mizoram and West Bengal on Monday announced extension of coronavirus lockdown, even as a large part of the country opened up under the Phase II of Unlock 1.0 that started today.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that the lockdown, which was set to end on June 15, has been extended in the state for another 15 days.
"The lockdown is being extended in the state till June 30, with all existing relaxations and conditions still in place. Earlier, we had allowed only 10 people at social programmes such as a marriage or a funeral ceremony, now we have increased it to 25," Mamata said after a meeting of the state cabinet.
Mizoram extended the lockdown for two more weeks citing spike in Covid-19 cases.
"Cities and towns in Mizoram will be placed under a complete lockdown for two weeks starting Monday midnight because of a spike in coronavirus cases, but there could be "area-wise moderation", particularly in rural areas," a health department official said.
A consultative meeting of ministers, association of doctors, churches, NGOs, local and village councils chaired by chief minister Zoramthanga unanimously decided to impose a total lockdown till June 22 to contain the rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases in the state, the official said.
Zoramthanga told the meeting that a complete lockdown with "area-wise moderation" was essential to contain the virus as there were instances of violation of present lockdown rules in many areas, which might lead to a community spread.
"The total lockdown will be imposed in strict manner in all cities and towns. However, certain areas especially in rural areas will be relaxed depending on the need of the people and essentiality of the area," he said.
Zoramthanga said Mizoram, like rest of the world, is going through a critical time due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The meeting also agreed to limit home quarantine facility to persons with exceptional cases, the official said.
It decided to increase the quarantine period from the existing 14 days to 21 days, he said.
The state-level task force on Covid-19 or state executive committee of the State Disaster Management Authority will prepare fresh guidelines for the total lockdown, which will be issued on Monday night.
Zoramthanga said the government would conduct a sample test on as many returnees as possible with the help of RT-PCR machines.
Some curbs eased in West Bengal
Bengal, on the other hand, eased some shutdown curbs in the state from June 1, allowing places of worship to reopen, and jute, tea and construction sectors to resume full-fledged operations.
Shopping malls, restaurants and other establishments resumed services in West Bengal on Monday after a gap of over two months, with the state government allowing further relaxations as part of "Unlock-1", the first phase of a calibrated exit from the coronavirus-induced lockdown across the country.

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