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Punjab Government Announces Relaxations in Lockdown and Curfew While Extending Both for 2 More Weeks

April 29, 2020 | By

Chandigarh: The Punjab government announced to relax Covid-19 lockdown in the state.

What Is Allowed and What Is Not:

  • The state government has announced to allow limited movement for all from 7 am to 11 am.
  • Announcing this CM Amarinder Singh cautioned against unnecessary gatherings.
  • CM Amarinder Singh said that people should strictly observe complete COVID19 prevention measures such as social distancing, washing hands regularly and use of masks.
  • The state government has also allowed all registered shops except those in multi-brand and single-brand malls to open with half strength of workers from 7 am to 11 am.
  • Besides multi-brand and single-brand malls, all shops in market complexes and shopping malls will not be allowed to open.
  • Establishments dealing in services like saloons, barber shops etc. would continue to remain closed and there is no relaxation announce in this case.
  • E-Commerce companies will continue to be permitted for essential goods only.
  • CM said that industrial units will be permitted to operate subject to certain conditions.

Notably, Punjab has been under strict lockdown for more than a month now.

CM Refers to NRI from Nawanshehr and Gathering at Nizamudin But Skips Jalandhar Based Newspaper:

While talking about spread of coronavirus in state CM Amarinder Singh referred to “NRI from Nawanshehr” and “people who had attended gathering at Nizamudin” but did not mention “Jalandhar based newspaper group”.

CM Amarinder Singh said that the coronavirus spread in Punjab from an NRI of Nawanshehr and people who had returned to Mansa and Sangrur districts after attending a gathering at Nizamudin.

Notably, the NRI from Nawanshehr referred by CM was Baldev Singh of Pathlawa village. The state government and Punjab police had attempted to vilify Baldev Singh after he was tested positive to coronavirus around ten days after his return arrival from Europe. More than two dozen of his contacts, mostly his family members, were also found coronavirus positive. A song vilifying Baldev Singh, sung by singer Sidhu Musewala was tweeted by Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta. He, however, removed his tweet after concerns were raised by Baldev Singh’s family members and village Pathwala residents.

People who attended gathering at Nizamudin, as referred by CM Amarinder Singh were member of Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim body, who were targeted and vilified by many sections of Indian media and Hindutavi establishment after they were tested positive to coronavirus.

Jalandhar Based Newspaper Group’s Office Turns New Covid19 Hotspot in Punjab:

The office of Punjab Kesri, a Jalandhar based newspaper group which publishes Punjab Kesri, Hind Samachar and Jagbani newspapers, has emerged as new hotspot of COVID19 in Punjab. Reports say that this around half of active COVID19 patients in Jalandhar district are connected with this group.

The Punjab government officials and media outlets are avoiding to name this news group while referring to spread of COVID19 disease in Jalandhar.





Chandigarh, April 29:

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced extension of curfew in the state by two weeks after May 3, while unveiling steps for limited lifting of the lockdown restrictions, from tomorrow, in the non-containment and non-red zones, with strict adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols.

Based on the report of the Expert Committee set up to formulate the state’s exit strategy, and the inputs received from various sections of the society, the Chief Minister said it was necessary to continue with the lockdown restrictions for some more time.

The curfew/lockdown in the state will now remain in force in Punjab will May 17, though limited easing of restrictions will be in place from tomorrow from 7 am to 11 am every day. The containment and red zones will, however, continue to remain under total and strict lockdown.

In an address to the people of the state, the Chief Minister said the situation will be reviewed after two weeks and further relaxations will be announced thereafter if the pandemic remains in control.

As per the limited relief announced by the Chief Minister, certain shops will be allowed to remain open in certain areas by rotation, for four hours every morning, with 50% staff strength. The DCs have been directed to work out the rotational schedule for the shops that are allowed to be opened in line with the Chief Minister’s directives, which have come four days after the new MHA guidelines came into effect.

The lockdown/curfew will remain in place after 11 a.m., as usual, said the Chief Minister, appealing to people to be back in their homes by that time, and continue to maintain social distancing. All those stepping out during the relaxation period would have to wear masks and maintain a 2 meters distance from others, he said, adding that the relief has been provided only for the convenience of the people and should not be used for interactions with friends etc. If the situation improves after two weeks, we can take more steps, said Captain Amarinder

The limited relaxations announced by the Chief Minister from tomorrow include permission for opening of all registered shops, except those in multi-brand and single-brand malls, with 50% strength of workers from 7 am to 11 am. In urban areas, all stand-alone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open during this period, as per the new directives, which make it clear, however, that establishments dealing in services like saloons, barber shops etc. would continue to remain closed. Further, e-Commerce companies will continue to be permitted to deal in essential goods only during this period.

Expressing his government’s keenness to open up the industry, the Chief Minister urged all those who could accommodate the workers or had workers staying in the vicinity to start opening up, in order to help revive the state’s battered economy.

Referring to the large number of Punjabis stranded in other states due to the lockdown, the Chief Minister said it was his government’s duty to bring them back but they would have to be quarantined for 21 days. The state had made arrangements for their quarantine in all district, he said, adding that the problem had aggravated in Punjab due to the large number of NRIs who came home, followed by the attendees of the Nizamuddin event. The state, he said, could not afford to let those coming from outside again let things spiral out of control. The quarantine for those coming home from other states was essential for the protection of the people, he said.

Earlier, the Chief Minister said the relief announced today was for the benefit of the people who had been under severe curfew restrictions for the past 38 days. Describing it as a difficult time for the people, who had sacrificed a lot for themselves, their families and the state at large, Captain Amarinder said it had been necessary to control the pandemic, which had so far infected 330 people in the state.

While various experts were coming out with different opinions, there seemed to be an indication that the coronavirus crisis could continue till July/August, or even September, said Captain Amarinder, terming it a long-drawn battle. Pointing out that no country had escaped the coronavirus, he observed that the disease had claimed lots of lives across the world, with nearly 50000 people dying in the US, which had reported 10 lakh cases so far. He cited the examples of UK, Germany and Canada, to underscore the need for continued caution.

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