Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Wednesday announced extension of lockdown till July 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The development comes after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held an all-party meeting at Nabanna in Kolkata to discuss measures to tackle COVID-19 situation in the state.
"I announce this as the government decision, the lockdown has been extended in Bengal amidst rising COVID-19 numbers across the country. This is in order to help the entire nation. Our relaxations will continue. Schools, colleges and universities will remain shut till July 31. As far as government offices are concerned, the operations will continue in a staggered manner as of now," Banerjee said after the meeting held at an auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat.
The state government, however, clarified the existing relaxations will continue. The ongoing lockdown in West Bengal was supposed to end on June 30.
BJP's West Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh, Manoj Howladar from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India leader Swapan Banerjee, Pradip Bhattacharya from Congress, among others were present at the meeting.
West Bengal has, so far, recorded 14,728 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 580 people have succumbed to the infection, according to the Union Health Ministry.
Banerjee said that though there were differences of opinion among the leaders, it was finally decided to extend the curbs till the end of July with certain relaxations.
During the meeting, the Left Front had objected to the state government's order saying that the decision would aggravate people's sufferings.
"We can not agree for lockdown extension because we have seen the suffering of common people. If there is lockdown then how would exams of pending board papers happen? The government has decided but we don't support," said Surya Kanto Mishra, CPIM politburo member, and state secretary.