Rising infections extend lockdown in North Bengal
Senior administrative officials posted in at least three districts of north Bengal announced an extension of the ongoing lockdown for up to a week from Monday in the wake of a steady spike in Covid-19 cases.
According to the state health department, 386 new coronavirus patients have been found in north Bengal in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 5,862.
As many as 142 new patients were detected in South Dinajpur in the past 24 hours, a district where the infection did not have much impact even a week ago, prompting a seven-day lockdown in three towns, Balurghat, Gangarampur and Buniadpur, and some rural areas.
Abhishek Kumar Tiwary, the Jalpaiguri DM, announced that the ongoing lockdown would continue till July 26 in Jalpaiguri town, with a “complete lockdown” from Monday till July 26 in Malbazar civic area. Only shops selling essential items will be open.
Arvind Kumar Mina, the district magistrate of North Dinajpur, announced a seven-day lockdown in four towns Raiganj, Kaliaganj, Islampur and Dalkhola, from Monday.
In Cooch Behar, a source in the administration said the lockdown would go on till July 27. “Even 10 days back, the situation was under control in Cooch Behar. These days, new cases are coming up every day,” the source said, citing the instance of Bhushan Singh, the immediate past civic chairman and chairperson of the BoA in Cooch Behar municipality, who tested positive and has been admitted to a private nursing home in Siliguri.
In Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district, the administration announced a lockdown in areas of Matigara block beyond the civic area to contain the spread of the pandemic.
In Malda, the administration decided to extend the lockdown till July 21 (Tuesday) as Covid-19 cases continue to increase. In Malda, 89 new patients were found in the past 24 hours, which increased the total number to over 1,700.
In Darjeeling, 65 new cases were reported, mostly from Siliguri, that has pushed the total tally of infections to over 1,300.