Kolkata: With the Covid infection rate dipping below 10 per cent and the number of daily cases around 5,000, the Mamata Banerjee government is contemplating lifting the restrictions imposed on West Bengal in a phased manner.
The restrictions were imposed by the government on May 16 when the number of daily cases was 19,117 and the rate of infection was 29.7 per cent. However, data uploaded by the state health department said that the daily number of cases have come down to 5,886 on Monday and the infection rate plunged to 9.7 per cent.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already partially lifted the restrictions on bars and restaurants. They are now allowed to function for three hours — from 5 pm to 8 pm provided their employees are vaccinated.
The CM also promised to allow the shopping malls to operate from June 15 with some restrictions.
State government officials feel that the most challenging part will be to allow the transportation system to function normally.
“The state government has kept the operation of buses, metros and suburban trains suspended and this is creating hindrance for the people to reach their workplaces. It is true that opening up of the transport system in an unplanned way would lead to spreading of the disease again so it has been our foremost challenge to allow the transport system to function but to restrict people from coming in close contact with others,” a senior state government official was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.
“The train and bus services will have to resume but we are not going to do it hastily. We will consider all the aspects carefully before taking any kind of final decision,” another official said.
The officials are certain that “the restrictions will not be lifted altogether but it will be done in phases and at the same time make extensive awareness campaigns so that the people behave responsibly and help the government to check the spread of the disease”.