On Tuesday, July 28, authorities in West Bengal state announced the extension of the twice-weekly total lockdown until August 31, in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The lockdown dates are as follows: Wednesday, July 29; August 5; August 8; August 16; August 17; August 23; August 24; August 31. Exceptions to the lockdown include August 1 due to Eid al-Adha and August 15 due to Independence Day ceremonies.
Individual's movement will be prohibited between 22:00 and 05:00 (local time) except for essential and emergency activities. All government and private offices, commercial establishments, public and private transport will suspend operations, although it is not clear whether all flights will be canceled during the lockdowns. Only essential services will be functional.
The lockdown in the containment zones in West Bengal has also been extended till August 31. A list of areas included in the containment zones can be seen here.
Restrictions on movement are in place nationwide between 22:00 and 05:00. The wearing of facial/cloth masks is compulsory in all public places. There are strict restrictions on large gatherings. Although there is a phased lifting of lockdown restrictions, states may introduce new measures with little or no warning.
As of July 28, there have been 1,483,157 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 33,425 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
Copyright and Disclaimer