Lockdown 5.0: West Bengal Announces Slew Of Relaxations, Some Effective Monday
Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Lockdown 5.0: West Bengal Announces Slew Of Relaxations, Some Effective Monday

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Two days before the scheduled end of Lockdown 4.0, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced several relaxations for the fifth phase of stay-at-home orders.

Religious shrines will reopen on Monday but not more than 10 people will be allowed to gather at one place. Private and public sector offices can restart with full strength from June 8. Banerjee has also allowed the tea and jute industry—West Bengal’s economic backbone—to function at full capacity.

"All the tea gardens and jute mills can function on a full strength. The public and private sectors could start functioning with full attendance from June 8," she said.

Claiming that West Bengal was able to control the spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the last two months, Banerjee blamed the influx of people as one of the main reasons behind the increase in the number of infections.

"We were successful in controlling the spread of Covid-19 in the last two months, but now it is increasing as a lot of people are coming from outside. The railways is sending migrants with jam-packed compartment,” she said. "In one seat, 3-4 persons are travelling. Indian Railways, in the name of Shramik Special trains, are running 'corona express' trains.”

Why is the railways not allowing more trains for migrant workers, she asked. "The number of Covid-19 cases is increasing because of this. The railways has some social obligation, they cannot just operate on the basis of profit and loss," she said.

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