Amid the spike in cases of deadly coronavirus, the West Bengal government has on Tuesday announced a ‘complete lockdown’ in the state from July 9 in containment and buffer zones.

According to the reports, the lockdown will be imposed from 5 pm on Thursday.

In these zones, during the lockdown, all private and government offices will remain shut and only essential services will be available. All the transport services will also remain suspended till further notice.

Earlier, West Bengal was divided into three categories — affected zones, buffer zones and clean zones. Now the affected zones and buffer zones are being merged.

In a separate development, the West Bengal government has advised all Covid-19 hospitals in the state to opt for “prone awake ventilation” as and when possible before putting a patient on conventional mechanical ventilation. The move would cut down on the use of mechanical ventilators amid the surge in coronavirus cases, a senior official of the health department said.

Prone positioning ventilation also called as prone awake ventilation (lying flat on the belly to improve oxygenation), which is mostly used in intensive care units (ICUs) for those having acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), should also be attempted on Covid-19 patients, according to an advisory issued by the department said. If that does not help, patients should be put on conventional ventilators, the official said.

The West Bengal government on Saturday has barred flights from six cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad as a measure to contain the deadly virus.

“It is informed that no flights shall operate to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai & Ahmedabad from 6th to 19th July 2020 or till further order whichever is earlier. Inconvenience caused is regretted,” the Kolkata Airport Authority said in a tweet.

West Bengal reported 850 new Covid-19 cases and 25 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 23,837 and death toll to 804. Number of active cases of infection stands at 7,243, State Health Department told.