The biweekly lockdown in West Bengal will continue as announced earlier, the state government clarified on Monday.

The state government had announced that complete lockdown would be observed across Bengal on September 7, 11 and 12. Other dates of complete lockdown till September 20 would be announced later, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said last week. The state is imposing a bi-weekly lockdown across the state to contain the spread of COVID-19.

However, in the Union Home Ministry’s order of August 29, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla mentioned that “as emphasized in my earlier D.O. letters, I would like to reiterate again that States/Union Territories cannot dilute restrictions imposed vide the aforesaid guidelines issued by MHA. State/UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown, outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government”.

Following this, there were speculations whether the earlier announced complete lockdown would be observed in West Bengal. There are speculations that going ahead with the lockdown would mean a clash between the Centre and the state. However, the Bengal government authorities clarified that the state will go ahead with the lockdown as announced earlier adding that “all necessary protocols are being followed” in this regard.

Banerjee had on Wednesday announced that schools, colleges and other educational institutions will remain closed till September 20 in view of the pandemic situation in the state. The situation will be reviewed again before taking a decision on when educational institutions may be considered safe for reopening.

She had also announced that the biweekly complete lockdown will continue till September 20. The first three days of complete lockdown will be September 7, 11 and 12 and the other dates will be announced later, she had said.

[Image courtesy: Kolkata Police]

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