New Delhi: A day after extending lockdown like COVID-19 restrictions in the state till August 30, the West Bengal government on Friday (August 13) allowed all restaurants and bars to operate till 10:30 pm. 

As per the latest notification by the ruling government in Bnegal, theatres and auditoriums can open with 50 per cent capacity while stadiums and swimming pools can also function with 50 per cent strength. 

Meanwhile, the Metro Railway has decided to extend services along its north-south corridor in the city by an hour in the evening from Monday, with the last train leaving terminal stations at 9 pm, an official said. Kolkata Metro authorities have also increased the number of daily trains to 228 from 220 with a peak hour interval of five minutes between services in view of the rise in passenger count. “From Monday, along the north-south corridor, the last metro will leave the terminal stations at 9 pm instead of 8 pm as the state government has relaxed the restriction period,” a Metro spokesperson said on Friday.

According to the Mamata Banerjee-led government’s order, the movement of people in West Bengal has been restricted from 11 pm to 5 am. Earlier, the night curfew was enforced from 9 pm to 5 am. Only emergency services will be allowed to function during night curfew.

On Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said local trains will only be allowed to function when more people will be vaccinated in the rural areas. “A lot of people are asking me why we are not allowing local trains. But, until we are able to vaccinate more people in rural areas, we cannot run local trains,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.

On Wednesday, six people died due to Covid-19 in West Bengal, pushing the death toll in the state to 18,258, according to the data released by the health department. The state also recorded 700 fresh cases on Wednesday, pushing the total tally to 15,35,699.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that the number of coronavirus cases is not increasing in the state and any report to the contrary is wrong. “The positivity rate is not more than 1.5 per cent while it was 33 per cent during the eight-phase assembly polls (held earlier this year). The number of cases is hovering between 600 to 800. This is the situation even when we could not vaccinate people the way we want,” she said.

She said that the state is not getting the required doses of vaccines. “If we get vaccines, we can at least ensure one dose of vaccine for the rural population and then we can allow local trains,” she said. Those trains can start operating if at least 50 per cent of people in neighbouring districts of Kolkata can be inoculated, the chief minister said.

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