New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the rising COVID-19 cases in the country when every state is witnessing an upward trend in the coronavirus graph, the Punjab government on Monday evening announced a fresh set of sweeping restrictions to tackle the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state. As per the new restrictions by the Punjab government, a weekend lockdown will be imposed in the entire state starting from Friday from 6 pm to Monday 5 am, which will be implemented from the coming Friday on April 30.

Apart from a weekend lockdown, the Punjab government has also imposed a daily lockdown in the entire state to curb the spread of the deadly pathogen. The daily lockdown in Punjab will start from 6 pm and will continue till the next morning at 5 am.

“Due to continuous & rapid rise of #Covid19 cases in Punjab, Cabinet today has decided to impose daily lockdown from 6 PM to 5 AM and weekend lockdown from Friday 6 PM to Monday 5 AM. Urge you all to stay at home & step out only if absolutely necessary. Seek your full cooperation, ” Punjab CM Amarinder Singh in a tweet said.

The order announcing fresh set of restrictions also stated that all shops in the state will remain open only till 5 pm and strict adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and social distancing norms should be followed during the working hours.

"All shops will remain open till 5 pm from Monday till Friday," Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said after a cabinet meeting was chaired by Cheif Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Besides, the Punjab government also ordered an extension of the already imposed night curfew in the state. From today (April 27) onwards, the night curfew in Punjab will start from 6 pm and will continue till the next morning at 5 am daily. Till now, the night curfew in the state was imposed from 8 pm to 5 am.

Meanwhile, CM Amarinder Singh also said that he is against the imposition of a coronavirus lockdown even as he predicted that the pandemic situation is expected to get worse in the state. The CM said the situation is expected to worsen, especially in south Punjab. He said Ludhiana district alone reported 1,300-plus cases on Sunday. The CM said 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.

The new restrictions came as Punjab reported a frightening surge in new Covid cases over the past few weeks with daily new cases reaching up from 600 in late February to nearly 7,000 in April. 98 more fatalities, the highest number of deaths in a day this year, pushed the toll to 8,530 in Punjab while 6,318 fresh infections took the total count to 3,45,366, according to a medical bulletin issued on Monday. The state had seen the maximum number of deaths in a span of 24 hours at 106 in September last year.

The number of active cases rose from 48,154 on Sunday to 49,894. Fourteen died of COVID-19 in Patiala, 11 each in Amritsar and Mohali, 10 in Ludhiana and seven each in Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Sangrur, of the latest fatalities in the state. Ludhiana saw the maximum number of cases at 753, followed by 749 in Mohali, 658 in Jalandhar, 468 in Bathinda, 456 in Patiala, among fresh cases in the state.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan