COVID-19 second wave: Will the West Bengal government impose a lockdown?

Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on states to only consider lockdowns "as the last option", two weeks ago, however, at present everyone sees them as the only way to deal with the second wave of the pandemic.

In the past week, television channels and social media have been swamped with harsh scenes of overpopulated crematoriums and desperate appeals for oxygen from hospitals. A lack of adequate vaccine doses has only added to the disorder. Hence, the most effective way to break the chain of transmission is to keep people far apart. Experts say that instead of a strict shutdown, local governments could stop activities where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.

Now, all the focus will be on West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee to see whether she imposes a lockdown in the state once again or not. The state is under partial lockdown since May 01.

As per the directives:

1) All shopping complexes, malls, beauty parlous, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, sports complexes, gyms, spas, and swimming pools shall remain closed (even while home deliveries and online services shall remain permitted).

2)All social/cultural/academic/entertainment-related gatherings and congregations shall remain prohibited.

3)Bazaars/hats will remain open only from 7-10 am and 3-5 pm (even while essential services like medical shops, medical equipment shops, grocery, etc. will remain outside the confines of the embargo).

Besides, wearing a mouth mask before stepping outside has been made mandatory.

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