Shops and industries shut as West Bengal begins two-week lockdown

On May 16, West Bengal went into a state-wide lockdown, shutting malls and shopping complexes as the state reported its highest single-day increase in Covid-19 cases on Friday totalling 20,846.

West Bengal has begun a two-week lockdown – Photo: Public domain

The West Bengal lockdown is currently scheduled to run until May 30, although it could be extended as many states have done. As per the new regulations, malls and shopping complexes will remain fully closed along with salons, gyms, restaurants, and swimming pools, the local health ministry announced. Retail shops will be able to open from 7am to 10am and all cultural gatherings are banned for the duration of the lockdown. 
Manufacturing industries except those producing food, medical supplies, and medical packing supplies, have been closed down. This leaves garment and accessories manufacturers in the state with no choice but to temporarily close down operations. Only distribution of food and medical supplies is currently permitted. 

West Bengal, which includes the Kolkata metro area, as thus far reported 13,284 Covid-19-related fatalities as of May 16 and 9.9 lakh recoveries, the Times of India reported. India’s current country-wide Covid-19 tally rests at 24.7 million with 2.7 lakh reported fatalities. 

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