With Covid situation improving, Mamata relaxes certain restrictions

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Kolkata, May 31 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that as the number of active Covid-19 cases has come down in the state, her government relaxed a few restrictions allowing opening of retail shops including bookstalls from noon to 3 pm and construction activities after vaccinating workers.

Banerjee said that operations in the Information Technology and ITES sector shall also be allowed with 10 per cent of total strength to enable backend and maintenance works between noon and 3 pm.

'Construction activities and operations in industries and manufacturing units will be allowed with onsite staff after workers are vaccinated for Covid-19. Employers shall give a prior intimation to the district magistrates concerned regarding the compliance on vaccination status of the staff and workers,' she said reading out an order.

The state government has imposed various restrictions for 15 days from May 16 and then extended it till June 15 to combat a surge in Covid-19 cases.

'The active Covid-19 cases have come down to 1,09,806.

The daily positivity rate has also come down to 18-19 per cent from 33 per cent,' she said adding that during the first wave it was 117.45 per cent.

The discharge rate has also improved to 91 per cent, she said.

The chief minister said that at least 1.41 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been given and 40 lakh people got both doses.

She said that the state government has started procurement of vaccines on its own and has already spent Rs 114 crore for it.

'We have also started purchasing vaccines on our own.

In the month of May, we have procured 18 lakh vaccines and in June we will be purchasing another 22 lakh,' she said.

Meanwhile, the Publishers and Booksellers Guild welcomed the decision of the state government to allow book shops to open shutters from noon to 3 pm.

'We had urged the chief minister to allow book shops to open in the interest of readers, writers, publishers and book sellers. We are happy she responded to our plea,' Guild President Tridib Chatterjee said.

Real estate sector body CREDAI said also welcomed the decision to allow construction activities saying that realty farms will vaccinate workers. PTI SCH SUS NN NN

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