Punjab imposes Statewide curfew after COVID-19 cases touch 23

Relaxation only in urgent cases with permission from DCs

Published - March 24, 2020 01:50 am IST - CHANDIGARH

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Punjab touched 23, with two new cases being reported, the government imposed a Statewide curfew on Monday.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced “full curfew with no relaxation” after reviewing the situation with senior government officials here. “The DCs have been asked to issue orders accordingly. Any person required to be given relaxation will be so allowed specifically for given period & purpose,” he said in a tweet.

Capt. Amarinder warned of strict action against any violation of the curfew, which, he said, was imposed “in the larger interest of the State”.

In a video message, he said the State government was forced to take this extreme step after receiving reports that people were moving around normally in towns, mohallas and cities despite the curbs that came into force on Monday morning.

Violation ‘unacceptable’

The Chief Minister said the violation of the restrictions by the people was “unacceptable” and it was the responsibility of his government, and his duty as its head, to “save Punjab”.

Making it clear that the curfew would continue 24 hours a day, he said only those with urgent needs would be allowed to go out after taking due permission from their respective DCs, whose mobile numbers would be shared with the public.

The State government also announced a slew of relief measures to support the affected masses as a result of the unprecedented restrictions.

According to an official statement, free food, shelter and medicines will be provided to those in need, for which ₹20 crore have been sanctioned from the CM’s relief fund. Officials concerned have been asked to extend all assistance to people in need.

According to the State’s health department, two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Punjab on Monday. One patient is from Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district and is a family member of a positive case reported last week. The other patient is an 80-year-old woman of Mohali in Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar district. She is also closely linked to a virus-positive patient, it added.

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