Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal on Thursday extended the coronavirus-induced restrictions, which were scheduled to end on May 30, in the state till June 15. Addressing a press conference, Banerjee said that the restrictions have been extended to control the surge in COVID-19 cases. However, the TMC supremo refused to impose a complete lockdown in the state to "save the economy".

Banerjee, who won the recently condcluded assembly elections in West Bengal, also announced that the state government has decided to hold class 10 and 12 board exams in mid-August and last week of July respectively. She said that the complete schedule will be announced later.

"We have decided to hold the secondary (Madhyamik) and higher secondary (Uccho Madhyamik) examinations... adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols," Banerjee was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

What's allowed and what's not in West Bengal?

As per the guidelines issued earlier, all retail shops in West Bengal can operate from 7 am to 10 am in a day. All essential services will also continue in the state. However, shopping malls, cinema halls, intra-state bus services, gyms, salons, swimming pools and metro and ferry services cannot operate.

The guidelines have also allowed banks and petrol pumps to operate from from 10 am to 2 pm. Sweet shops can stay open from 10 am to 5 pm in a day while tea gardens and jute mills can operate with 50 per cent and 30 per cent of their capacity.

What is the current COVID-19 situation in West Bengal?

West Bengal had emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot in the country. However, the situation in the state has vastly improved, thanks to COVID-19 measures put in place. The state on Thursday reported 16,225 fresh infections that pushed its total caseload and active tally to 13.18 lakh and 1.23 lakh respectively.

Similarly, the death toll has mounted to 14,827 with 153 fatalities. On the other hand, 11.79 COVID-19 patients in West Bengal have recovered from the infection. The state health department also said that 59,593 people were vaccinated in the state during the last 24 hours.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma