Punjab CM announces 2-hour extension in night curfew in 9 worst-hit districts

Chandigarh (Punjab): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that curfew will be extended by two hours in nine districts of Punjab that are worst affected by the coronavirus.

The curfew is imposed from 9 pm to 5 am from March 18 in the districts of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Ropar that have been reporting more than 100 cases daily.

The announcement came as Punjab's daily cases shot up to 2039 with 35 deaths on Wednesday.

Addressing media persons through video-conferencing, Chief Minister said, "COVID-19 situation is very dangerous in the state, around 2000 cases today" and warned about "several more tough measures and restrictions over the next few days".

"On tackling coronavirus, I'm going to be very tough though some may not like it. The curfew will start from 9 pm instead of 11 pm from today in nine districts of the state that have an increase in the number of corona cases," he further said.

"Several stringent measures, including restrictions on gatherings, will be announced after discussions with the state government's expert Covid team over the next couple of days," he said.

"Whether these will include restrictions on political gatherings was also something that will be decided as per the medical expert team's advice," he added.

He urged the people of Punjab to get medical care immediately when symptoms are noticed.

"The problem was people were going to hospitals too late," he said.

He appealed to all citizens to wear masks and maintain social distance, warning that penalties may also be enhanced if required.

"While his government was taking all possible measures to check the spread of the virus, the Chief Minister hoped the Centre would accept his suggestion (submitted at the Prime Minister's meeting yesterday) on opening up the vaccination to younger people in the worst-hit areas and also to all those in public dealing," said an official statement of Punjab government.

"To a question on Himachal Pradesh CM's statement seeking curbs on people coming in from Punjab for pilgrimage and religious purposes, Captain Amarinder said he was not in favour of restricting religious movement," the release said.

"But the Covid problem needs to be controlled, and an appropriate decision will be taken when he gets a formal letter from the chief minister of the neighbouring state on this issue," further said the release.

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