Coronavirus | Punjab extends curfew till May 1

Amid fears of community spread of COVID-19 and to prevent overcrowding at “mandis”

Updated - April 10, 2020 07:33 pm IST

Published - April 10, 2020 06:30 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. File

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. File

Punjab on Friday extended the curfew till May 1 amid apprehensions of a community spread of COVID-19

On Thursday, Odisha extended the lockdown till April 30.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

A meeting of the Punjab Council of Ministers, chaired by Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh , took the decision also to prevent overcrowding at “mandis” in the light of the ensuing wheat harvesting/procurement season. 

Capt. Amarinder will convey the decision to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter’s Saturday videoconference with the Chief Ministers, an official statement said.

Citing grim projections of the impact of the pandemic in the coming weeks, the Chief Minister said curfew restrictions were essential so that the medical infrastructure was not burdened beyond its capabilities. “There was general consensus in the medical community that the lockdown curbs would only delay the spread of the disease.” He hoped that some medication-cure would be found soon.

Private hospitals role

At the meeting, the Cabinet also approved the Punjab Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Ordinance 2020 to make private hospitals join the battle against COVID-19. The Chief Minister was authorised to approve the final draft of the Bill after its legal vetting.

Also read: Coronavirus | ICMR study points to community transmission

The ordinance would provide for the registration and regulation of clinical establishments in a professional manner to ensure compliance of clinical standards and protocols and transparency in their functioning for fair and proper delivery of health services to the common man, said the statement.

“There would be no undue interference in day-to-day functioning of these establishments, as per the proposed legislation, which will, to begin with, be applicable to all clinical establishments of 50 beds and above as in the case of Haryana. It is proposed that the Punjab Health Council may be headed by an expert - professional of national repute instead of a bureaucrat, with at least two other professionals as members,” it stated.

Also read: Coronavirus | No significant rate of increase in COVID-19 positive cases, says ICMR

The Cabinet approved the establishment of a high-powered committee to suggest a road map for the State’s economic revival in post COVID-19 era once the crisis softens and normal working is restored.

Also read: Coronavirus| Punjab extends services of doctors, paramedical staff

Capt. Amarinder said he would request former Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Ahluwalia to head the committee.

Another decision of the Cabinet was to set up a multi-disciplinary task force to formulate an exit strategy for gradual relaxation of curfew/lockdown.

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