Concerned over the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered night curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the worst affected cities of Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala from Saturday, while directing all big cities and towns to prepare integrated management plan for treatment of the disease.
As cases in the state went up to 20,891, with 1,050 instances reported on one day on Thursday, the Chief Minister also announced a week-long trial of enforcement of the mandatory mask wearing rule by making offenders stand at the spot for an hour with a mask on.
He was of the view that making the offenders sweat it out might help check the violations on this count, which had crossed 3.82 lakhs.
Answering questions in his weekly #AskCaptain Live session on Facebook, which was advanced by a day to apprise the people about his visit to the hooch tragedy affected Tarn Taran district, Amarinder Singh also appealed to the people to get themselves tested early and start treatment in a proper hospital, urging them not to rush to private tertiary care facility directly since good treatment is available in government hospitals.
There were adequate testing facilities available in the state, he said, adding that four new testing labs would become operational on Monday.
Delay in going for testing and treatment was the main cause for increasing number of Covid-19 deaths, he said, pointing out that with 26 persons succumbing a day earlier, the death toll in the state had gone up to 517 (2.47 per cent).
Expressing concern over the steady increase in Covid-19 infections and positivity in the state, which reported 8.50 per cent cases in samples tested in past one week, the Chief Minister said with the peak projected to come in Punjab by end of August or early September, one could not be certain how high the peak of daily cases may go.
“Given the recent increase in cases in districts like Bathinda, Barnala, Ferozepur, we cannot afford to be complacent,” he said, urging people to hold their nerve in these tough circumstances and fight the disease with strength and determination.