West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s brother Ashim Banerjee died due to COVID-19 on Saturday May 15. Ashim’s death comes at a time when news about the death of celebrities, political leaders, business moguls due to COVID-19 is becoming an everyday affair. While the nation has ramped up its vaccination efforts, the every-day case load is an evident that India is yet to reach the end of the second wave of the COVID-19.

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The 60-year-old younger brother of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee was undergoing a COVID-19 treatment at a Kolkata based hospital. On Saturday morning, Ashim took his last breath after battling the infectious disease for around a month.

According to news platform Scroll, Ashim suffered from hypertension which is one of the several comorbidities that makes the deadly coronavirus all the more lethal. Ashim was also popularly known as ‘Kalida’ among the citizens of the Kalighat region.

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15-Day Lockdown Imposed in West Bengal due to surge in cases

Early on Saturday morning, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the Chief Secretary of West Bengal announced a 15-day statewide COVID-19 lockdown. Although West Bengal had already a few restrictions in place such as night curfew, the cases have not seen a downward trajectory. Locals and various news platforms are of the opinion that the everyday rising cases are a consequence of the Assembly Elections which had a both the TMC and BJP schedule rallies and events where social distancing norms were not observed and people gathered massively.

The new restrictions will be effective from 6 AM, May 16, and will continue till 6 PM, May 30.

During the announcement of the lockdown, Alapan said-

“We are hopeful that with this restriction, we will be able to contain the virus to some extent. This will also reduce the burden on health care institutes, nursing homes, hospitals. This will help us to reduce the daily corona cases and also to manage the Oxygen supply chain.”

West Bengal Lockdown: What’s Open?

1. All the emergency services will be allowed and those who want to travel from one place to other may need to produce a valid ID proof.

2. All essential services like pharmacies, diagnostic centers, dairies, optical showrooms, ATMs, petrol pumps will remain open.

3. All the markets and bazaars can only remain open from morning 7 AM to 10 AM. Sweet shops are allowed to remain open from 10 AM in the morning to 5 PM with adequate social distancing norms at place.

4. Public modes of transpiration like taxi, auto will be allowed to provide commute to emergency passengers from and to airports.

5. Govt offices that work in the essential services and emergency services department will remain open.

6. Those who are scheduled to get vaccination may do so.

West Bengal Lockdown: What’s Closed?

1. Industries and factories that are not producing or manufacturing essential products or services will remain shut.

2. Metros, buses & interstate trains will not ferry passengers.

3. Religious gatherings and other types of gatherings are completely prohibited.

4. Public parks, gymnasiums, water park, amusement parks, spas, malls, theatres, cinema halls and all other places of gathering will remain shut.

5. Tea gardens will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity while jute mills will be allowed to operate at 30% capacity.

6. All places of education including schools, colleges, university, coaching institutes will remain shut.

7. Private offices to be completely closed and IT companies may delegate work on WFH basis (work from home).

8. All the government offices other than the aforementioned will remain shut.

9. Weddings can only take place with maximum of 50 people in attendance and social distancing will be needed to be observed.

10. A night curfew will stay in place which will be imposed every night from 9 PM to 5 AM.