The Punjab CM's decision comes just a day before the second phase of the lockdown ends, making it the first state to announce the third phase of lockdown. Just days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with state chief ministers on the Covid-19 situation.
Punjab lockdown extension: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday extended the coronavirus-forced lockdown in the state by two more weeks starting May 1. This will be the third phase of the lockdown in Punjab, which has so far reported 342 positive cases and 19 deaths due to Covid-19. The state has, however, given four-hour relaxation everyday from 7 am to 11 am.
The last lockdown extension was announced on April 10 for 21 days. In a tweet, Punjab Special Chief Secretary KBS Sidhu said that the cabinet had unanimously approved extension of “curfew/lockdown till 30 April, 2020/1st May, 2020”. “Extension by 21 days from today. Strict enforcement (sic),” he had said.
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The Punjab CM’s decision comes just a day before the second phase of the lockdown ends, making it the first state to announce the third phase of lockdown. Just days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with state chief ministers on the Covid-19 situation. Some of the chief ministers said that many states were in favour of lockdown extension as the numbers were constantly rising. India has crossed 30,000-mark and reported over 1,000 deaths. In the last few days, India has reported over and around 1,500 cases with Maharashtra alone seeing over 500 cases.
In just four days from now, the second phase of lockdown is scheduled to draw to a close on May 3. While a section of people and industries are in favour of certain relaxation to keep the economic activities on, states fear that gain scored so far by early lockdown may disappear if contagious is allowed to spread by lifting the restrictions. On Monday, NIti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant identified 15 districts that are critical in the battle against Covid-19.
“Of them 7 show particularly high case volumes. India’s success in battling COVID-19 is dependent on them. We must aggressively monitor, contain, test, treat in these districts! We must win here,” he said. Among the 15 districts are Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabadd, Indore, Jaipur, Pune, Hyderabad, Surat, Chennai, Thane, Agra, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Kurnool and Vadodara — in the same order.