COVID-19: Haryana orders closure of all shops by 6 pm, bans non-essential gatherings

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Chandigarh, Apr 22 (PTI) Having witnessed a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days, the Haryana government on Thursday announced several restrictions to control the spread, including closure of shops by 6 pm and a ban on all non-essential gatherings.

The restrictions will come into effect from Friday, state Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said.

'All shops will remain closed from 6 pm onward in Haryana from tomorrow, all non-essential gatherings are banned, anybody holding any function within prescribed limit will have to seek permission from concerned SDM (Sub Divisional Magistrate),' Vij said in a tweet.

The state government had recently capped the number of attendees in indoor events to 50 and that for open spaces to 200.

About 10 days ago, the Haryana government had imposed coronavirus-induced night curfew from 10 pm to 5 in the state after a surge in the cases.

Talking to reporters after chairing a meeting of the state cabinet here, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the standalone stores located in less crowded areas would be exempted, but deputy commissioners of the district concerned will take a final decision on this.

The order will be strictly applicable on shops located in crowded areas, he said.

Khattar reiterated that the Haryana government was not contemplating to impose any lockdown in the state.

He said the migrant workers need not worry and should carry on with their work.

On April 21, Haryana recorded 9,623 new COVID-19 infections and 45 deaths, the state's highest single-day spike in both cases and fatalities so far. PTI SUN VSD SNE