Published On: Thu, Jun 11th, 2020

Punjab back to strict lockdown on weekends, holidays amid fear of community spread

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered stricter lockdown on the weekends and public holidays, with movement to be restricted to e-pass holders in the fight against the COVID-19.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh today participates in video conference meeting to review the pandemic situation and the state’s preparedness to handle further spread.

The decision has been taken “amid apprehensions of community spread of COVID-19 and projections indicating that the pandemic peak in the state was still two months away”, the Chief Minister’s office said in a statement.

All citizens, except medical staff and essential service providers, would be required to download e-passes from the COVA (Corona Virus Alert) app, the Chief Minister said in a video conference meeting to review the pandemic situation and the state’s preparedness to handle further spread.

Industry, however, will be allowed to function normally on all days, said the Chief Minister, while asking DGP Dinkar Gupta to ensure strict implementation of these directives to prevent the gathering of large crowds.

Even as he warned of the pandemic worsening in the coming days and weeks, the CM also asked medical and health experts to consider the imposition of strict conditions, including mandatory testing certification, for entrants from the national capital, where the COVID-19 situation had assumed “alarming proportions”.

On average, 500-800 vehicles travel to Punjab from the national capital every day, the DGP informed the meeting.

“A decision on stricter curbs on those coming from Delhi will be taken after a review by the experts,” an official spokesperson said after the meeting.

The Chief Minister suggested that since it normally takes 3-4 days for the virus to show up, those coming from outside should be tested after a week and in the meantime, they should be strictly asked to home quarantine themselves.

Referring to complaints received on social media, and through other channels, of private hospitals charging exorbitant sums for COVID hospitalisation and care, the Chief Minister directed the health department to ensure strict application of CGHS rates and all data on the availability of beds etc should be put in the public domain.

ANI

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