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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Covid-19: More curbs in cities as cases surge

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17

With the Covid-19 situation in the urban areas turning grim, the Punjab Government on Monday announced additional restrictions in all cities.

The state has reported more than 31,000 cases and over 800 fatalities. Deaths per million have also gone up to 27.2 and as many as 265 patients were on oxygen support and 20 on ventilators support at present, said Health Advisory Committee chairman Dr KK Talwar.

Four districts in the state ndash; Ludhiana, Mohali, Jalandhar and Patiala ndash; have witnessed the maximum surge.

Keeping this in mind, the movement of individuals for non-essential activities in the municipal limits of all cities has been restricted between 9 pm and 5 am. In the urban areas, restaurants, hotels and liquor vends would be allowed till 8.30 pm.

People in Ludhiana, Patiala and Jalandhar have been asked to avoid unnecessary travel on weekdays, while shops and malls in these three cities would remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays. The previous orders of closing shops and malls on Sundays throughout the state would continue to remain in enforce.

The issue came up for discussion in today's Cabinet meeting, with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh expressing serious concern over the surge in Covid cases and fatalities. He said he was not averse to imposing harsher measures to check the further spread of the pandemic. He, however, also made it clear that economic activity would not be allowed to suffer.

Underlining the need for early testing and treatment for saving lives, Dr Talwar said the state had reached 20,000 tests per day, including rapid antigen testing.

Earlier, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who is heading the expert group for the revival of state's economy, also said any measures to check the Covid spread should not impact economic activity.

Warning that the state must also be ready for a second spike, Montek said if lockdown had to be introduced in certain areas, strict protocols should be put in place to ensure that there was no impact on industrial and income generating avenues.

Not averse to harsher measures: CM

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder said he was not averse to imposing harsher measures to check further spread of the pandemic in the state. He, however, made it clear that economic activity would not be allowed to suffer.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3kQEnkm

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