Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh
The Punjab government on Monday decided to allow shops dealing in non-essential items to open on Saturdays and reduced the night curfew timing by two and half hours in urban areas.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced these relaxations after taking cognisance of the suggestions of several Congress MLAs and the advice of medical experts.
"Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced some relaxations in lockdown in urban areas, including opening of non-essential shops on Saturdays and relaxation in their timing from Monday to Saturday till 9 pm," said a government release here.
Night curfew will be in place in all cities/towns now from 9.30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Hotels and restaurants will be allowed to remain open on all days, including Sundays, till 9 pm, after which home delivery of food will be allowed, as per the revised guidelines.
Earlier, the state government had imposed weekend lockdown in all 167 municipal towns. The night curfew timing was 7 pm till 5 am in the cities.Shops, except those dealing in essential commodities, were allowed to remain open till 6.30 pm from Monday to Friday but would be closed in all cities on Saturdays and Sundays.
It has also been decided to align opening of non-essential shops in Mohali with the rest of the tri-city (Chandigarh and Panchkula), said the CM in a statement here.
This came after shopkeepers, dealing in non-essential commodities, in Mohali on last Saturday had defied the weekend lockdown restrictions, complaining that they were suffering heavy losses with shops being closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
There is no weekend lockdown in Chandigarh and Haryana's Panchkula.
Responding to complaints of shopkeepers getting inflated bills even though their shops had remained closed for a long duration, the CM directed the electricity department not to charge bills on the average of the previous year but to send actual bills.
Singh also announced cash compensation of Rs 1,500 for construction workers who test positive or whose immediate family has tested positive and they have to be quarantined.
He asked the Congress MLAs to take the lead in distribution of free food packets to poor patients who have tested positive to enable them to have enough ration at least for 7-10 days during home isolation.
During the meeting, the CM directed the MLAs and ministers to aggressively counter the negative propaganda being spread allegedly by certain anti-social elements and the AAP on Covid testing and organ harvesting.
He urged them to reach out to people in their constituencies through workers, Sarpanches (village heads) etc, and in fact, rope in the Sarpanches to lead by example and persuade people to follow all health protocols strictly.
People should be encouraged to identify the mischief makers and inform police, he said, adding that they should be told that oximeters are no substitute for testing and delayed testing was leading to increased fatalities.
The oximeters can only help by guiding a person to seek admission in hospital when oxygen saturation levels become low, he said, adding that his government is procuring 50,000 additional Oximeters to be given to health staff and Asha workers, as well as some of the home isolation patients, he said.
The CM also asked the MLAs to visit their constituencies and hospitals to establish better communication with the people and boost their morale.
MLAs who attended the meeting were Joginder Pal (Bhoa), Amit Vij (Pathankot), Harparatap Singh Ajnala (Ajnala), Sukhwinder Singh Danny (Jandiala), Sunil Dutti (Amritsar North), Raj Kumar Verka (Amritsar West), among others.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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