Amid COVID Surge, Punjab Imposes Daily Lockdown From 6 pm to 5 am
CM Singh said that the state government is making all efforts to secure oxygen to supplement its depleting stocks.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced on Monday, 26 April, that in the wake of the rising cases in the state, the Cabinet decided to impose a daily lockdown in Punjab from 6 pm to 5 am. Further, weekend lockdown will be imposed from 6 pm on Friday, 30 April, and end on 5 am on Monday, 3 May.
Presently, the daily curfew restrictions remain in place from 8 pm to 5 am. Singh also urged everyone to stay at home and step out only if necessary.
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said, all shops will remain open till 5 pm, PTI reported.
Preparations Made by Punjab Government
The chief minister said that the state government is making all efforts to secure medical oxygen to supplement its depleting stocks. However, of the 105 tonnes of medical oxygen quota, the state has received only 85 tonnes as the rest is being diverted to the PGIMER, Chandigarh, he said.
The CM also directed the Health Department to follow up with the Centre for vaccine supplies as the state presently has 1.76 lakh Covishield and 22,000 Covaxin doses left.
Against a Full Lockdown: CM Amarinder Singh
Singh said on Monday that he is against the imposition of a full lockdown. The comment was made a day after the daily COVID count crossed the 7,000 mark, the highest single-day rise since the pandemic began.
The CM said the situation is expected to worsen, especially in south Punjab, where Ludhiana district alone reported over 1,300 cases on Sunday, 25 April.
According to a statement, the CM said that while stringent measures are being taken to tackle the surge in cases, he is not "proposing" a lockdown in the state as it leads to economic woes and the exodus of migrant workers.
Army’s Contribution to the State’s Infrastructure
The Army Western Command has assured the government to revive the state’s defunct oxygen plants.
Lieutenant General RV Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command, offered to provide staff to run a 100-bed COVID facility proposed to be set up at the building loaned to the state government by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research for the purpose. He added that fifteen trained nurses have already been sent to Patiala to support the civic staff.
CM Singh later said that the government will also approach the Union Home Ministry to provide manpower and ICU beds through the Border Security Force (BSF).
Health Secretary Hussan Lal also informed Singh that 2,000 beds will be added at government and private hospitals.
900 beds will also be added at government medical colleges in Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot, and 542 will be added at private colleges, he added.
On Sunday, 76 more people had died from COVID as the state reported single-day spike of 7,014 cases, taking its total cases tally to 3,39,090. The state had seen 6,762 cases on 23 April.
(With inputs from PTI)
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