Amid Covid spiral, Punjab extends weekend lockdown and night curfew

All gatherings, except weddings and funerals, were banned till August 31. All government and private offices will work at half their capacity till the end of this month.

Published: 21st August 2020 09:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2020 09:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: A spike in corona cases has prompted Punjab to reboot its measures which include extension of weekend lockdown with daily night curfew from 7 pm to 5 am in all the cities and towns of the state from Friday.

All gatherings, except weddings and funerals, were banned till August 31. All government and private offices will work at half their capacity till the end of this month. In the five worst-affected districts of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and SAS Nagar (Mohali), restrictions on vehicular capacity have been imposed again, with buses and other public transport allowed with half the capacity and private four-wheelers barred from carrying more than three passengers per vehicle.

The deputy commissioners of these districts have been directed to allow only 50 per cent of the non-essential shops to open to check crowding. These five districts currently account for 80 percent of the active case load in the state.

Calling for “war-like preparedness” to deal with the massive Covid spike, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked top officials in a videoconference to review the situation across the state, which has also reported an increase in the number of deaths due to the deadly infection. As many as 920 people have succumbed to the disease in the state.

The CM directed the officials to restrict public visitors in government offices and encourage online grievance redress system, which, he said has been strengthened by the state government. He directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to strictly enforce compliance to check avoidable crowding in public places. He also asked the DGP to crack the whip on all political protests and gatherings.

“Enough is enough,” said Amarinder, adding that we need to be tough without affecting economic activity.
The CM ordered increasing the testing to 30,000 a day, with at least 10 persons in the immediate circle of every positive patient being tested.

Face masks to be part of Govt  school uniforms in Punjab
Face masks will be a part of the uniform for Punjab government schoolchildren from Class I to VIII whenever the schools reopen. The school education department has said it would provide two masks for each student along with the school uniform.Sources said the education department has asked district education officers, block education officers and schools in-charges to ensure supply of the face masks with the uniforms. “In view of the pandemic, it is advised that whatever cloth is left out after the stitched uniforms are supplied should be used for the face masks,’’ read an order. “It should be ensured that children avoid coming to the schools to give their measurements for uniforms; this can be done by their parents.” A budget of `77.45 crore has been set aside for providing uniforms to 12.90 lakh students. 


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