NEW DELHI: Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Friday (March 19) announced a series of measures amid rising COVID cases after the Chief Minister level COVID 19 review meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday. Sindhu said that a total of 11 districts where cases are continuously rising will go into night lockdown from 9 pm onwards. Furthermore, every school and college will remain closed to contain the spread of the virus.
Sidhu also added that medical colleges will remain open. Cinema halls will operate at 50 per cent of the total capacity while no more than 100 persons will be allowed in the mall at a single time. An hour of silence will also be observed every Saturday from 11 am-12 pm to pay tributes to people who lost their lives to COVID. No vehicles will ply on road during this period.
India has been reporting a surge in cases in recent days which has led to fears that the nation is already in the grip of a second wave. On Thursday, India reported 39,726 new COVID 19 cases with Punjab along with Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Chhattisgarh together accounting for 80.63% of the daily new cases.
The state of Punjab is the second most affected state with over 2,396 new cases. The active caseload of the state stands at 14366 with Jalandhar reporting 15 per cent of the total case followed by SAS Nagar and Ludhiana with 11.6 per cent and 10.8 per cent respectively.
A day before Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged the public to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and ordered a night curfew in Amritsar. He also also urged the Centre to review its immunisation strategy during the virtual meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra with state CMs on March 17.
Maharashtra continues to be the most affected state with over 65 per cent of the total new cases reported in the past 24 hours across the country.