June 18, 2021

Bengal Chief Minister rules out lockdown, Gujarat Deputy CM says no proof it breaks virus chain

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that there was “no scientific evidence that indicates a lockdown will definitely break the chain (of transmission)”.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday ruled out any possibility of a lockdown or night curfew in the state but announced that all schools will be shut for two months and summer vacations will be declared, considering the present situation.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that there was “no scientific evidence that indicates a lockdown will definitely break the chain (of transmission)”. The state reported 11,403 cases and 117 deaths on Monday. On April 1, Gujarat had reported 2,410 cases and nine deaths.

Responding to a question, Patel told mediapersons, “…several states, countries have seen significant reporting of Covid-19 cases despite a lockdown… in the first wave, we could break the chain with a lockdown but in this second wave, the virus is highly infectious”.

Announcing a slash in rate for RT-PCR tests at 55 private laboratories across Gujarat, Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, indicated that there is no plan for a lockdown. “We are keeping a night curfew because a lot of people go to hotels, restaurants, pan stalls and roam around in society compounds… increasing chances of infection… no state is going for a complete lockdown…”

Speaking at a press conference in West Bengal’s Malda, Chief Minister Banerjee said, “We have no plans to impose a lockdown in Bengal as of now. Will just a lockdown solve the problem? People have to be given some time. The cases are rising also because thousands of people are coming in from outside. People will suffer if we impose lockdown.”

She also dismissed any possibility of imposing a night curfew, stating that it “will not be any solution and the focus should also be on reducing political pollution”.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee, referring to a Sunday letter she wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regards to medicines and Covid-19 vaccines, tweeted, “With the massive surge in #Covid19 cases across India, GoWB is taking all necessary steps to protect its people. I’ve reached out the PM to help us with additional medicines and vaccines required.”

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