Bengal local train services unlikely to resume after Covid curbs end on June 30



KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday hinted that it is unlikely that local trains will start operating even if the ongoing restrictions are relaxed a bit after June 30, as that might spread the Covid-19 infection.

People blocked railway tracks in several stations in the state for around three hours on Thursday demanding that they be allowed to board staff special stations.

“We are not running the trains to keep the contagion under check. It is natural that stopping the service causes problems for the people. If we run trains now, everybody will be infected by Covid. What will you do then?” she told reporters.

Banerjee claimed that the restrictions imposed by her government are not like those in several other states.

“Shops, vegetable markets and all are almost open. Organisations are providing transportation to bring employees. People are working from home in several offices,” she said.

The West Bengal government has imposed certain restrictions in the state from May 16 to May 30 to combat a surge in Covid-19 cases and extended it twice later.

The ongoing curbs are scheduled to come to an end on June 30.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, West Bengal’s Covid-19 toll rose to 17,516 after 41 deaths were recorded in the state, the health bulletin said.

The tally went up to 14,89,286 as 1,923 more people tested positive for the virus.

The number of active cases is now 22,308 while 1,952 recoveries were registered.

At least 55,679 samples were tested in the state in the last 24 hours for coronavirus, the bulletin said.

Altogether 3,11,043 people were vaccinated in West Bengal on Thursday, a health department official said.

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