Punjab under complete lockdown (Photo Credit: File Image)
The Punjab government on Sunday decided to enforce lockdown in the entire state till March 31 in the wake of the threat of coronavirus. Punjab has so far reported 14 cases of coronavirus. "Punjab government will enforce lockdown in the entire state till March 31,” a senior official told PTI. On Saturday, the Punjab government had ordered lockdown till March 25 in several districts including Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Jalandhar in view of the rising coronavirus cases in the state, officials said.
In the highest single-day increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Punjab, 11 people tested positive on Saturday, taking the total number to 14 in the state, official said. "Establishments in districts of Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur have been closed while the partial lockdown has been ordered in Jalandhar with effect from 7 am on March 22 (Sunday) up to midnight of March 25," a government statement said.
Likewise, it has also been advised to close down establishments in Kapurthala district from Monday as a precautionary measure, it said. Among the fresh cases, six were from Nawanshahr, three from Mohali and one each from Hoshiarpur and Amritsar districts.
In Jalandhar, Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma and Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said that all commercial establishments, except those dealing in essentials, would be closed during the lockdown. The DC said that no one would be allowed to loiter around and severe action would be taken against the violators. The officers further said that movement of vehicles in, outside and within the city would be restricted to emergency vehicles only.
"Only one person from a family would be allowed to move out for availing of essential services," said the Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner. Factories engaged in the production of essential items including flour mills, cattle feed, food processing, medical pharma, etc will not be closed by enforcing staggering of workers and other preventive safeguards, said the government statement.
Other DCs should interact with industry associations to work out modalities for proactive closure and they should also appeal to them to compensate labourers and not deduct the wages, even of casual employees, it said.
Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh emphasised on the need of home quarantine to be strictly enforced. Sticker outside the homes of those quarantined should be pasted for the information to the neighbours, the statement said. The state government also issued a list of the essential commodities as per the provisions in the Essential Commodities Act 1955.