Police has arrested over 750 people on Thursday for violating lockdown norms on the first day of the 48-hour shutdown across West Bengal that has been enforced by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in a bid to contain the spread of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
Also read: How tribal women in West Bengal district got sanitary napkins, baby food for ₹1 in lockdown
People were confined to indoors in Kolkata and its surrounding areas on Thursday because of the lockdown that was accompanied by incessant monsoon showers.
Earlier, the Bengal government had announced that lockdown would be enforced on certain days in August. The state government changed lockdown dates at least five times in a bid to accommodate religious festivals and public holidays such as the 74th Independence Day that was observed on August 15.
Initially, though nine days were decided for the lockdown in August, later it was brought down to six.
“We have arrested 756 people for violating lockdown norms in Kolkata on Thursday. At least 387 people were arrested for not wearing masks and another 64 for spitting in public,” said a Kolkata Police official.
On Thursday, Kolkata recorded around 45 millimetres (mm) of rainfall. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) authorities have issued a warning for heavy rainfall in Kolkata and its surrounding areas until August 25.
Bengal has recorded 1.29 lakh Covid-19 cases until Thursday, including 3,129 in the last 24 hours.
North 24 Parganas district has overtaken Kolkata as the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in Bengal.
On Thursday, North 24 Parganas district recorded 747 new Covid-19 cases, as compared to 583 in Kolkata.
“There has been a surge in Covid-19 cases because of aggressive testing. However, the positivity rate, which had shot up to around 17% in mid-July, came down to 12% over the past few weeks. At present, it is less than 10%,” said a state government official.