Kolkata: The first working day of the new year 2022 in West Bengal began with partial shutdown with complete closure of all the academic activities and with 50 per cent workforce in government offices,
including public undertakings amid threats of increase in new Covid-19 cases across the state.
The government’s order on Sunday followed a review meeting of the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and the concern due to the high rate of infectivity and multiple cases of the new variant ” Omicron”, especially in the city and suburban areas.
A state health bulletin on Sunday said some 6153 new covid cases were reported, 1600 higher than Saturday, and at least eight people died of the virus.
Frontline workers warriors- Kolkata Police, which have been in the forefront to execute the government order for maintaining covid protocol in the public, suffered the most as some 63 personnel, including four IPS officers, were downed with the pandemic.
Though the academic functioning has been closed down up to January 15, the government on Monday began administering covid vaccination from the age of 15 to 18 in sixteen designated government schools.
To ensure lockdown across the state, especially in the city, the government instructed the respective district administrations, police commissioners, and local authorities to ensure strict compliance with the directives under the Disaster Management Act of 2005.
The restrictive measures have also been imposed on shopping malls, market complexes, restaurants, and bars, wherein they will now allow only 50 per cent of their total capacity.
” All schools, colleges, universities, spas, salons, beauty parlours, swimming pools, zoos, and entertainment parks will remain closed in West Bengal. All government and private offices will operate at 50 per cent capacity; all administrative meetings will henceforth be conducted via virtual mode.”
The local trains will run with 50 per cent capacity till 7 PM.
No local trains will be allowed on tracks post-7pm; however, all long-distance trains will continue running as they are. All tourist places shall remain closed.
Flights to Kolkata from Delhi and Mumbai will only be allowed on two days of the week – Monday and Friday. The direct flight Kolkata-London has been stopped with effect on Monday.
All religious, cultural, and social gatherings in the state will have to ensure that they only allow 50 people at the most.
Shopping malls and market complexes may function with a restricted entry of people by not exceeding 50 per cent of the capacity up to 10 pm.
Restaurants and bars may operate with 50 per cent of the capacity up to 10 pm. The same restrictions and timings hold true for cinema halls and theatres.
Meetings and conferences shall be allowed with a maximum of 200 people at a time or 50 per cent seating capacity of the hall, whichever is lower.
Not more than 50 persons shall be allowed for marriage-related ceremonies. Not more than 20 persons shall be allowed for funeral/burial services and last rites.
Kolkata Metro services shall operate with 50 per cent seating capacity as per usual operational time. The movement of people and vehicles and public gatherings of any kind shall be prohibited between 10 pm to 5 am. Only essential and emergency services shall be permitted.