West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said a strict lockdown will go in force for a week from tomorrow in expanded containment zones across nine districts of the region which have a high number of coronavirus cases following a sharp spike in reported cases.
The lockdown may be extended beyond a week if necessary, she told reporters in Kolkata.
Mamata also rejected the list of new containment zones for the South 24 Parganas district because too many areas were included.
“You can’t lock down an entire district,” she said, after examining the list at a televised press conference along with her top officials and doctors from government hospitals.
“Who has prepared this list? Has it been done on the basis of the voters list? You have included entire civic wards. The DM and SP have given the list and you have okayed it just like that. Review it!” an annoyed Mamata said in the presence of Chief Secretary Rajiba Sinha and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Alapan Bandopadhyay.
Mamata approved the redrawn containment zone lists for Kolkata, North 24 Parganas and Howrah districts and said there should be a focus on Siliguri in north Bengal as well as Malda, which have seen a spike in Covid-19 cases.
West Bengal has reported 5,278 new cases and 136 deaths in the state between July 1 and July 7.
The lockdown will now come into force from Thursday in Kolkata, Howrah and North 24 Parganas, but not in South 24 Parganas.