Coronavirus: Chandigarh Home Secretary home quarantined

Hina Rohtaki

The quarantine notice outside Principal Secretary (Home) Arun Gupta ‘s house in Chandigarh Saturday. Express

Principal Secretary (Home) Arun Gupta who is also Health Secretary was home quarantined by the administration on Saturday evening.
His daughter returned from the US on Friday night and as a precautionary measure, the administration home-quarantined the family.

“Just as a precautionary measure, we have home quarantined. As of now there are no symptoms in his daughter but as per government orders anyone returning from abroad has to be compulsorily quarantined,” a senior officer of the administration said.

According to the list sent out by the Chandigarh Administration on 203 people who have been home quarantined, Principal Secretary to Haryana Chief Minister Rajesh Khullar has also been home quarantined at his residence in Sector 16.

UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore reviewed measures by the Tricity administration to combat COVID-19.

The Administrator appealed to people to stay at home on Sunday and make the Janta Curfew successful as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has urged all the business establishments and industries to voluntarily close down their operations and stay at home so that chain of infection is broken.

Among other issues, the Chief Secretary of Punjab Karan Avtar Singh said that in Punjab the wholesale vegetable markets are open and only retail apni mandis have been closed due to congestion.

UT Adviser Manoj Parida said that in Chandigarh both the wholesale and retail vegetable markets are open because otherwise, people would overcrowd the Sector 26 market which will unnecessarily cause congestion and may spread infection.

It was suggested that at least in Mohali and Panchkula, the respective state governments can keep the apni mandis and vegetable shops open as after ensuring necessary protocols and instructions as given by the government. It will reduce the unnecessary crowding of people from Mohali and Panchkula in Chandigarh.

Adviser Parida also stated that, if required, there is a plan to permit community halls to be used for sale of vegetables. The mobile carts, rehdis would be allowed to sell vegetables from house to house. Moreover, if necessary, mobile vans would also be utilised. However, he clarified that there is no such proposal to implement it.

The decision of Chandigarh Administration to paste posters outside the houses of suspected cases so as to reduce the risk of other people getting infected was also reiterated. It has made everyone more aware and is acting as an effective decision.

The Administrator reviewed the availability of medical/ safety equipment with all the government hospitals. It was decided that an order for procuring additional medical equipment to be used by the doctors and para-medical staff will be placed and the same will be procured on priority.

The Adviser was also directed by the Administrator to send the proposal for advance payment of ration money for a few months to cater to the BPL families of UT Chandigarh so that they have liquidity which will enable them to make purchases of essential commodities from the market.

It was also decided to have a website dedicated exclusively for the coronavirus information. It will be created and operated by the Chandigarh Administration. However, the Tricity authorities, including Mohali and Panchkula, would provide information to the Chandigarh Administration to be uploaded on the website.

Moreover, at 4 o’clock every day, there would be a video conference to take stock of the measures being adopted in the Tricity to tackle COVID-19.

The governor stated that the people should refrain from relying on rumours. He stated that adequate number of beds and medicines are available in Chandigarh. The officials were directed not to allow hoarding of masks and other safety equipment and take strong action against those creating artificial scarcity of material.

The meeting was attended by Punjab Chief Secretary Karaninder Avtar Singh, Adviser Manoj Parida, Health Secretary Chandigarh, DGP Chandigarh, DGP Punjab, DGP Chandigarh, Municipal Commissioner Chandigarh, DC Chandigarh, DC Mohali (through video conference), Municipal Commissioner Panchkula and ADC Panchkula.