West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that all public and private workplaces will resume work in the state by June 8. Announcing new guidelines for the fifth phase of the coronavirus lockdown, Banerjee said that religious places will reopen but schools will remain closed. "Provisions of sanitisation must be followed at religious places. I hope all religious leaders will follow the rule," Banerjee also said while addressing the media two days before the lockdown is scheduled to end.
"I am happy my migrant workers are coming back. But I want to ask, why are they being packed in the trains without social distancing?" she lashed at the central government and Indian Railways.
"Most of these workers are coming from hotspot states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, so why can't the Railways run extra trains so that some social distancing is maintained. No food, no water... these migrants are being packed inside trains, sometimes double the capacity," she said.
"Do they want to convert Shramik Specials into Corona Express?" Mamata Banerjee said.
Earlier, Indian Railways clarified that only four trains out of 3,840 trains have taken more than 72 hours. All these were North East-bound bound trains, which are long routes. One train, which was going to Assam, got delayed because of a landslide on the track, which took one day to clear, it added. Just 71 trains, which is 1.8 per cent of total operation, were diverted between May 21 and 24 because of heavy congestion on the UP-Bihar route, it said.
Meanwhile, India recorded the biggest jump of 7,466 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 1.65 lakh. With 175 deaths in one day, the death toll in the country now stands at 4,706. The active cases are 89,987, of which 71,105 have been cured or discharged. Meanwhile, fresh 1,106 coronavirus cases have been reported in Delhi, taking the total tally in Delhi to over 17,000, said state Health Minister Satyendar Jain.