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    Mamata Banerjee: Prepared for lockdown till May 21 but a decision with Centre

    West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has said that the state is prepared for lockdown extension till May 21 but added that the decision lies with the Central government. Mamata further accused the Central government of not having any "clarity" in its decision regarding the lockdown.

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    Ajay Nirmal
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    “The decision of extending the lockdown has to be taken by the Centre, but we have planned till 21 May”, said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while addressing the press at the state secretariat, Nabanna, on Monday, 27 April.

    The Chief Minister who had, on the same day, attended a teleconference that Prime Minister Modi held with Chief Ministers of different states, also said that she was not allowed to talk at the three-hour-long meeting.

    “Today at the meeting with the Prime Minister, it was already decided which nine states will speak. We were not on the list, but we attended as we thought we may get a chance”, she added.

    She further accused the Central government of not having any “clarity” in its decision regarding the lockdown.

    “On one side they are saying lockdown should be strict and on the other, they are saying that shops should open. We also want that, but they should give one decision”, said Banerjee, who once again, expressed her displeasure at a team from the centre coming to Bengal to assess its COVID-19 response.

    At the press conference, the Chief Minister also announced the formation of a cabinet committee on COVID management. The committee is to be chaired by state finance minister, Amit Mitra and has two more ministers along with three bureaucrats, including the Chief Secretary and the Health Secretary.

    There was also an indication of lockdown relaxations in areas that have been designated “green” and “orange” zones. This decision will be taken by the government based on daily inputs every seven days.

    While the Chief Minister also announced that those testing COVID positive should heal and isolate at home, the government later tweeted, that the she actually meant that secondary and tertiary contacts of those treated positive should stay at home.

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