New Delhi: As a number of bank employees are getting infected by coronavirus, the West Bengal government on Monday decided to close all the banks in the state on Saturdays. Also Read - Indian Railways Latest News: 1310 Special Trains Will Originate & Terminate in South Central Railway Zone During Festivals

Issuing a notification, the finance (audit) department said that the state government is pleased to declare all Saturdays to be public holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in respect of all bank branches working in the State of West Bengal, in addition to the existing holidays on 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Also Read - Corona Vaccine Latest News: Govt Readies Database to Vaccinate Health Workers First, States/UTs to Provide Details by Next Friday

The notification will come into effect immediately and will be in force till further orders. At present, the banks remain closed only on second and fourth Saturdays and all Sundays. Also Read - COVID-19 Positive Para-Archer Ankit Discharged From Hospital, to Remain in Isolation

The development comes after more than 2,000 employees of state-run and private banks of West Bengal were affected by COVID-19.

Earlier in the day, the information and cultural department issued an advisory to the banks urging them to close branches on all Saturdays and Sundays and provide services to customers on weekdays between 10 AM and 2 PM.

The bank unions have been demanding for a five-day working week for long and held several rounds of discussions with the Indian Banks Association.