Chandigarh | Jagran News Desk: The Punjab government on Thursday announced that it has decided to suspend all public transport, including bus services, auto-rickshaws and tempos in the state to control the COVID-19 spread in the state. The order will come into effect at midnight. 

The decision was taken after a group of ministers met on Thursday to to review the state's preparedness to combat the deadly coronavirus in the state that has affected 168 people in the country.

The state government has also decided to limit the public gathering to 20 from the existing 50 to stop the virus from spreading.

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All exams in Punjab government-run schools have also been postpone to contain the spread of the virus. The new examination schedule would be announced on April 1, the state government has said.

So far, one person has tested positive for coronavirus, also known as 'COVID-19', in Punjab.

Looking at the situation, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has appealed to religious organisations and Dera heads to keep gatherings under 50 in support of the government's efforts to check the spread of coronavirus. 

In a series of tweets, he said that strict monitoring was being conducted of all those arriving from high-risk countries and so far 116 suspected cases have been tested.

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The Chief Minister also said that his government was also ready to look into providing mid-day meals to students at homes or, alternatively, putting money into their accounts, though no such request had been received so far.

Noting that mortality rate was higher among senior citizens and those with compromised immunity, he urged such people to take extra precautions, with their families also taking special care against the outbreak.

Appreciating the hard work of the doctors and other medical staff engaged in fighting the problem, Singh said the state had adequate life support systems and medicines.

A total of 1,700 isolation beds were available, with the entire hostel of Gyan Sagar Medical College, Rajpura, dedicated for the purpose, he had said.

(With ANI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma