CHANDIGARH: As COVID-19 cases touched 52,129 mark in Haryana, the state government has ordered closure of all public and private offices, non-essential commercial and business establishments on weekends. As 1203 were reported today across the state.
The state government has decided to close all public and private offices except those dealing with essential services and all shopping malls and shops in the market area, except those dealing with essential goods and services on Saturday and Sunday.
An official said that all other National Directives and SOPs issued by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for COVID-19 management that are currently in force shall continue to be strictly followed. These orders shall remain in force till further orders.
He said that it is hereby clarified that this order will have no effect on public and private transport and on tests or exams being conducted by Haryana Public Service Commission and Haryana Staff Selection Commission.
State Health Minister Anil Vij said, "All offices and shops except those dealing in essential services will remain closed in the state on every Saturday and Sunday till further orders due to COVID-19. We have taken this decision as there has been a sudden increase in cases during past few days." He said that besides Haryana, a few other states have also enforced weekend lockdowns.
During the past couple of weeks, Haryana has registered a big spike in cases. The infection tally today touched 52,129 with 585 fatalities. As per the medical bulletin issued by the state government as 1203 cases reported today of these 127 in Faridabad and 120 in Gurugram, 132 in Panipat and 111 in Rewari.
Also a sudden surge in the number of doctors, paramedics and other health workers at the PGIMS in Rohtak testing positive for COVID-19 in the past few days.
Some 52 doctors and 17 health workers tested including staff nurses, operation-theatre technicians, bearers and sweepers positive for the virus to date. The doctors from anaesthesia and gynaecology departments of the institute are among the worst affected.
This move by the Haryana government comes a day after the Punjab government announced daily night curfews and weekend lockdown till August 31 across the state starting today, as part of a strict response to the worrying surge in coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile last month Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar had said that weekend lockdown serves no purpose in the fight against COVID-19 and there were no plans to impose any more lockdowns. "A lockdown will not serve any purpose unless it is imposed for a fourteen day period. Imposing a lockdown over the weekend or for two days merely gives the impression that something is being done," Khattar had earlier said.