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Health

Amid Rising COVID Cases, West Bengal Government Imposes Restrictions

West Bengal on Saturday reported 4,512 fresh COVID-19 cases, 1,061 more than the previous day, with Kolkata accounting for 2,398 of the new cases, as per the state health department.

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Kolkata: The West Bengal government has brought back stricter COVID-related restrictions amid a steep rise in cases, shutting all educational institutions from Monday, January 3 and allowing offices to operate with only 50% of the workforce.

At a press conference on Sunday, West Bengal government chief Secretary H.K. Dwivedi announced that only essential services will be permitted between 10 pm and 5 am in the state.

Local trains will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity till 7 pm, while all shopping malls and markets will be allowed to remain open till 10 pm but also at half their capacities, he said.

Long-distance trains will operate as per their usual schedule. Metro trains in Kolkata will also operate as per their usual timing but again, at 50% capacity.

All tourist attractions, including zoos, will remain closed. Besides, swimming pools, parlours, spas, wellness centres and gyms were also told to shut down, he added.

Flights from Mumbai and New Delhi will ply only twice a week and no flights from the UK will be allowed for the time being, Dwivedi said.

Cinema halls and theatres have been allowed to operate with 50% capacity. Meetings and conferences have been allowed with a maximum of 200 people at a time or 50 per cent capacity of the hall, whichever is lower.

Bars and restaurants were allowed to remain open at 50% capacity till 10 pm, while the home delivery of food and other essential products will be permitted as per usual operational hours.

Not more than 50 persons shall be allowed at weddings and only 20 persons will be allowed during funeral and burial services, the chief secretary said.

The state government asked the management of industries, factories, mills, tea gardens and other commercial establishments to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines.

West Bengal on Saturday reported 4,512 fresh COVID-19 cases, 1,061 more than the previous day, with Kolkata accounting for 2,398 of the new cases, as per the state health department.

(PTI)