Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday extended restrictions imposed to check the spread of the deadly COVID-19 infection in the state till July 1, noting that all essential services will continue.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Banerjee also announced that government and private and corporate offices can operate in the state with 25 per cent of their strength. However, she said that they can function only from 10 am to 4 pm in a day.

The West Bengal Chief Minister further said that shopping malls and complexes can operate from 11 am to 6 pm in a day with 50 per cent of their capacity while the movement of private vehicles will continue to remain suspended.

On the other hand, restaurants with bars can operate in West Bengal from 12 noon to 8 pm with 50 per cent of their capacity, she said, adding that movement of people will stay restricted from 9 pm to 5 am in the state.

All schools, colleges and educational institutions will stay shut till further notice, Banerjee said, adding that sporting activities can resume but spectators won't be allowed.

"We do not have any problem with the implementation of 'One Nation, One Ration' scheme. It is under process," Banerjee said, adding that the new guidelines will come into effect from July 16.

A two-week complete lockdown was imposed on May 15, days after the election commission declared the assembly election result in the state, amid fears over the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown was later extended till June 15 by the state government. However, Banerjee on June 3 gave relaxations in the restrictions, following a decline in daily COVID-19 cases in the state.

West Bengal's COVID-19 tally rose to 14.61 lakh on Sunday as 3,984 more people tested positive for the infection, while 84 fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 16,896, a health bulletin said.

Meanwhile, as many as 2,497 more people were cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 14.26 lakh. The recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state stands at 97.64 per cent while there are 17,651 active cases, the bulletin added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma