Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal on Saturday relaxed COVID-19 curbs in the state, allowing salons and beauty parlours to resume their services.

In its revised guidelines, the state government said that salons and beauty parlours can operate with 50 per cent seating capacity up to 10 pm, adding that only fully vaccinated customers would be allowed.

Last week, the West Bengal government had issued fresh COVID-19 guidelines, shutting down all spas, salons, beauty parlours, zoos and entertainment parks till further orders.

Gymnasiums, swimming pools and educational institutions were also closed while private and government offices were asked to operate only with 50 per cent staff. The government had also imposed a night curfew in West Bengal from 10 pm to 5 am.

West Bengal is one the worst affected states in India by COVID-19 and has been witnessing a spike in cases. On Friday, the state reported 18,213 new cases, a four-fold rise since the beginning of the year, as per the West Bengal health department.

Kolkata city itself accounted for the bulk of new infections reporting 7,484 fresh cases, some 14 per cent more than Thursday. The death toll in the state mounted to 19,864 with 18 more fatalities, the heath department's bulletin said.

The state now has 51,384 active cases, while 7,912 patients have recovered from the disease in the past 24 hours, as per the health department.

Since Thursday, 69,158 samples were tested in West Bengal.

The positivity rate rose up further to 26.34 per cent compared to 24.71 per cent reported on Thursday.

The North 24 Parganas district accounted for 3,118 new cases, while Howrah (1,360) and Paschim Bardhaman (1,043) were other districts with large numbers of cases.

Out of the 18 deaths -- seven were in the city of Kolkata and three in North 24 Parganas district while the rest were from other districts -- in the last 24 hours.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma