Amid the rising cases of COVID-19, the Punjab administration has ordered a slew of restrictions and curbs in the state with the closure of educational institutions till March 31 and restrictions on cinema and mall capacities. These restrictions will come into place from Saturday (March 20).
As per the new restrictions cinema halls will operate at 50% capacity and not more than 100 persons will be allowed in a mall at any time. All educational institutions, other than medical and nursing colleges, will remain closed till March 31.
Meanwhile, a night curfew has been announced in the 11 worst-hit districts of Punjab from 9 pm to 5 am.
These 11 districts are Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, SBS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar and Moga and Punjab CM has ordered restrictions on in-person public dealings in the government offices, with citizens to be encouraged to visit offices only for essential services.
In these 11 districts, a complete ban has been ordered on all social gatherings and related functions, except for funerals, cremations and weddings, which will be allowed with only 20 persons in attendance.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered cinemas, multiplexes, restaurants, malls, etc., to remain closed on Sundays, though home deliveries will be allowed subject to night curfew.
Starting next week, one hour of silence will be observed in the state every Saturday, from 11 am to 12 noon, for those who lost their lives to COVID-19, with no vehicle to ply at this time
The Punjab CM has appealed to people to keep social activity in their house to the bare minimum for the next two weeks to break the transmission chain. He urged people to not entertain more than 10 visitors in their homes.
The CM has also directed officials to encourage online and virtual modes for grievance redressal, and asked departments concerned to issue necessary instructions for limiting appointments per day for registries, etc.
Strict curbs will also be imposed in other districts if the situation worsens and Covid protocols and norms are not adhered to be by the people, Punjab CM said while adding that the situation will be reviewed after two weeks.
Directing health officials to ramp up testing per day to 35,000, the Chief Minister said the special focus should be on super spreaders, and government employees, teachers in educational institutions, etc., must be tested routinely.
(With inputs from IANS)