No night curfew in Bengal on New Year's eve: Chief Secy

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Kolkata, Dec 31 (PTI) Night curfew will not be imposed in West Bengal on New Year's eve as the situation is not that adverse, a senior official has said.

The state government, however, will take all precautionary measures to prevent large gatherings on the occasion, he said.

The current situation is not conducive to imposing a night curfew, Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said.

'New Year celebrations are organised at a few places in West Bengal. If people abide by the COVID-19 safety protocols and cooperate with the police and administration, large gatherings can be avoided,' he said on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted states and union territories to impose local restrictions such as night curfew, if necessary, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With a UK returnee testing positive for the mutant coronavirus strain in Kolkata, the chief secretary cautioned people and urged them to wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

'People must cooperate with the administration and the police. There will be special assistance booths at places like Park Street and Victoria Memorial where a large turnout is expected,' he said.

The Kolkata Police has taken measures to ensure that all COVID-19 safety protocols are adhered to and large gatherings on New Year's eve are prevented, as per the Calcutta High Court's order to check a spike in infections.

Security has been beefed up in and around the metropolis to avoid any untoward incident.

The high court had on Tuesday asked the state government to ensure that effective COVID-19 safety protocols are maintained during the year-end festivities. PTI SCH ACD ACD