Punjab bans political crowds, extends night curfew till April 30

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7

To check the surge in Covid cases in Punjab, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a total ban on political gatherings and extended the night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am in all districts of the state. The restrictions will remain effective till April 30. Violators, be it political leaders, will be booked under the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act, he stressed.

As part of the fresh curbs, the maximum gathering at funerals and weddings has been reduced to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Schools and regular colleges, except for medical and nursing institutes, will also remain closed till April 30. Wearing masks has been made mandatory for all government employees while in office.

However, as some respite for shop owners in malls, the government allowed the entry of 10 people per shop at any given time. The earlier order had capped the mall entry to 100.

Capt Amarinder said it was a matter of concern that over 85 per cent of the cases in Punjab had the UK strain, which is more contagious and virulent. The state had no option but to go in for stricter measures to control the surge, he said, adding that he had been forced to order a ban on political gatherings as his pleas to refrain from organising such events had been ignored.

Expressing concern over the high positivity (7.7% ) and mortality rates (2% last week ) in the state, Capt Amarinder directed the health department to increase the vaccination drive to target 2 lakh persons per day (currently 90,000 are being inoculated per day)

He said he would again urge the Centre to relax the age criteria for vaccination in areas showing weekly doubling of positivity rate.


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