CHANDIGARH: As COVID cases continue to remain high in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a total ban on political gatherings till April 30 and said that violators, including political leaders, will be booked under the DMA and Epidemics Act.
The Chief Minister also announced extension of night curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., which hitherto was imposed in 12 districts, to the entire state and reduced the number of attendees at funerals, cremations and weddings to 50 people indoors and 100 for outdoors. Wearing of masks has been made mandatory for all government employees while in office.
These restrictions, coupled with the ones imposed earlier, which include closure of schools and educational institutions, will remain effective till April 30.
However, there was some respite for shop owners in malls, as the Chief Minister allowed entry of 10 people per shop at any given time, as against the earlier order of not allowing more than 100 people in a mall at one time. This would imply that 200 people will be allowed in a mall with 20 shops at any given time. Amarinder Singh, in his weekly review of the COVID situation, expressed concern at the high positivity and mortality rates in the state. He said it was a matter of concern that over 85 per cent of cases in Punjab are of the UK strain, which is more contagious and virulent.
He said he had no option but to go in for stricter measures to further control the ongoing surge, even though the number of positive cases had somewhat stabilized in the last few days due to curbs imposed earlier.(IANS)
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