Kolkata: Normal life came to a grinding halt in West Bengal on Friday 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 strict restrictions were clamped.

The lockdown was also almost total in Kolkata and in districts barring some places like Purulia town, Asansol, Durgapur where some grocery shops and vegetable vendors did brisk business in the morning before police stepped in, official reports said.

In Kolkata, a near deserted look was seen in different parts of the city including Rajabazar, Gariahat, Hazra crossing, Hudco crossing Ultadanga as police set up road barricades to monitor vehicles.

In Hazra crossing drones were pressed into service to keep a tab on movement of vehicles and individuals while road barriers were put in the middle of forlorn looking Howrah Bridge to check the motorists, reports said.

At Lake town, the cops were seen using thermal guns to check the temperature of some of those having gone out for essential works.

All the markets, shops, commercial establishments were closed while pharmacies were allowed to keep open. Police made some arrests in city and elsewhere for violations of lockdown norms. The earlier lockdown was on September 7.

West Bengal state-wide complete lockdown on September 12 was withdrawn on Thursday in the interest of the students appearing for the NEET. The state had reported 1,93,175 COVID-19 cases till Thursday. PTI