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Kolkata: Normal life came to a grinding halt in West Bengal on Saturday as a complete lockdown was enforced across the state to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases.

All public transport, offices and other commercial establishments, barring those dealing with essential services, remained closed as the strict restrictions were clamped.

It is part of the twice-a-week lockdown imposed in the state since July 23 to break the chain of the infection.

Flight operations in and out of the Kolkata international airport were suspended for the day, while long- distance trains were also rescheduled due to the lockdown.

Essential services like medicine shops and health establishments remained open as these were kept out of the purview of the complete shutdown. Petrol pumps are also allowed to remain open on the lockdown days.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutes have remained closed in the state since late March when the first phase of the nationwide lockdown started.

Security has been tightened to enforce the lockdown and police personnel were seen patrolling major traffic intersections in Kolkata.

A complete lockdown was earlier imposed in the state on July 23, 25 and 29 and August 5.

The COVID-19 death toll in West Bengal went up to 1,954 after 52 more people succumbed to the disease on Friday, the state health department said.

A bulletin issued by the department also said that 2,912 new cases were reported from various parts of the state, pushing its coronavirus count to 89,666.

According to a notification issued by the state government, the total lockdown will be imposed on August 20 (Thursday), 21 (Friday), 27 (Thursday), 28 (Friday) and 31 (Monday).




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