Other States

2 new COVID-19 positive cases in Punjab, number rises to 33

Police provide fruits and ration to poor people amid curfew due to coronavius pandemic, in Bathinda on March 26, 2020.

Police provide fruits and ration to poor people amid curfew due to coronavius pandemic, in Bathinda on March 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Govt. decides to release 6,000 prisoners, issues criteria

With two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Punjab on Thursday, the number has climbed to 33. The government has decided to de-congest its prisons by releasing around 6,000 prisoners.

The State Health department said one of the two, a woman from the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district, is a close contact of a positive case. The other patient is from Jalandhar with a travel history.

Prisons Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said the Supreme Court had constituted a High Powered Committee under the chairmanship of Chairperson, Punjab Legal Services Authority, with the Principal Secretary (Jails) and the ADGP, Prisons as members.

“The committee has circulated detailed criteria and procedure to initiate the release of prisoners. Convict prisoners will be released on parole and under-trial prisoners on interim bail for six weeks,” said Mr. Randhawa.

There are around 24,000 prisoners lodged in 24 jails against an authorised capacity of 23,488.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has sought immediate financial assistance from the Centre to clear all the pending liabilities under the MGNREGA scheme.

In a letter to Union Minister of Rural Development and Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, the Chief Minister said as on March 24, 2020, ₹84 crore were pending for approximately 1.30 lakh workers.

The Chief Minister pointed out that without the daily wages, the MGNREGA workers would not be able to sustain their families in the prevailing emergency, with no fresh employment opportunities available during the lockdown.

In Chandigarh, 70 buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking had been deployed for door-to-door sale of fruits and vegetables. Each bus has two to three vendors along with policeman.

Advisor Manoj Parida said talks were on with MARKFED and HAFED to operate mobile vans in the city to provide rations at reasonable rates.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 12:46:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/2-new-covid-19-positive-cases-in-punjab-number-rises-to-33/article31175152.ece

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