The West Bengal government on Sunday announced closure of all academic institutions and imposed restrictions on local train and metro services in the wake of a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections.
It said all State government and private establishments should work with 50% of employees at a time and encourage work from home.
“Swimming pools, spas, gyms, beauty parlours, saloons and wellness centres shall remain closed. All entertainment parks, zoos and tourist places shall remain closed.”
The government also imposed curbs on the metro and local train services.
“Local trains shall operate with 50% seating capacity and only up to 7 p.m. Metro services too shall operate with 50% seating capacity but as per usual operational time.”
The government also prohibited movement of people and vehicles and public gatherings of any kind between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. “Only essential and emergency services shall be permitted.”
The restrictions come in the wake of a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections. The case positivity rate has increased from 1.57 % on December 25 to 12.2 % on January 1 (4,512 infections).
Other restrictions include temporary suspension of direct flights from the U.K. from January 3. Chief Secretary H.K. Dwivedi said flights from Delhi and Mumbai will be allowed only on Mondays and Fridays. The State government has also postponed Duare Sarkar (Government at Doorstep) scheme which was scheduled from January 3.
6153 new infections, positivity rate over 15 %
The restrictions come in the wake of a sharp rise in the COVID-19 infections — 6,153 cases on Sunday with a positivity rate of 15.93%. Kolkata alone accounted for more than half of the cases (3,194) and the North 24 Paraganas 994.
The State had recorded 4,512 infections on Saturday and the case positivity rate was 12.2 % against 2.52% on December 27. The silver lining is that occupancy in COVID-19 beds is only 2.14%.