Stating that the daily Covid case count is recording a dip in the state, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today allowed a few relaxations amidst the ongoing Covid restrictions that have been extended till 15 June.

The retail shops will be allowed to remain open from 12 to 3 pm. “We have already allowed the jewellery and saree shops to function from 12 to 3 pm and now the retail shops would also be allowed to remain open from 12 to 3 pm,” said Miss Banerjee adding that ‘Boi para’ and book shops will also be allowed to operate.

The IT sector, which has been operating on ‘Work From Home’ (WFH) mode, will be allowed to operate from their offices with 10 per cent staff.

Construction workers will be allowed to work after being vaccinated, provided they maintain the social distancing norms and wear masks.

Deliberating on the better management of Covid, Miss Banerjee said that during the first wave the daily cases had risen up to 4,137 and in the second wave it went up to 21,000 but has currently dipped to 11,000. The active cases have dipped from 1,32,181 to 1,09,806 while 37,190 were registered during the first wave. Again, the daily positivity rate has decreased from 33 per cent in the last week of April to 18-19 per cent while it was 17.45 per cent last time. The average death rate is better in the second wave compared to the first. This time, an average death rate of 0.56 per cent has been recorded while it was 1.67 per cent last year. The discharge rate that had been lowered to 84 per cent has now improved to 91 per cent.

Miss Banerjee said that the state government has spent Rs 114 crore for procuring 18 lakh vaccines in May and 22 lakh in June.

State government has vaccinated a total of 1.41 crore of the population of which 1.1 crore have been administered the first dose and the remaining 40 lakh the second dose.

Around nine lakh people, identified as ‘super spreaders’, have already been vaccinated. These include hawkers, vegetable and fish sellers, transport workers and others.

Meanwhile, after reviewing the relief work for Cyclone Yaas, Miss Banerjee said the state has incurred over Rs 20,00 crore loss due to the damage and two lakh people are still in relief camps. Around 2.2 lakh hectares of agricultural land and 71,560 hectares of horticulture have been damaged.

State government will write to Niti Aayog for funds to set up 500 cyclone shelters, cold storages and warehouses.

The process for repairing 305 of the 329 embankments has been started and 45 lakh drinking water pouches have been distributed in villages.

‘Duare Traan’ camps will be set up in the cyclone affected areas and people will have to personally come to the camps to submit their applications for compensation.

“The situation is extremely critical as many places were completely submerged under the water. We received a few complaints about relief work not reaching some areas in Gosaba and DM South 24 Parganas has assured to sort it out,” said Miss Banerjee.

Deliberating on a comprehensive plan for developing Digha, Miss Banerjee hinted at irregularities in the projects that were undertaken in Digha. “The entire beautification work has gone down the drain. We have found that work was not undertaken properly,” she said.

Construction of around 3.5 km of the 7 km beautification of Digha marine drive will be undertaken, the shops that have been destroyed will be reconstructed and the colonies of fishermen will be rebuilt.