Night curfew imposed in four Punjab districts

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Chandigarh, Mar 6 (PTI) A night curfew was imposed in Punjab's four districts from Saturday to tackle a recent surge in coronavirus cases.

The orders came after Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan and Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta held a meeting to review the coronavirus situation with all DCs, district police chiefs and civil surgeons through a video conferencing. The districts where the night curfew has been imposed are Jalandhar, SBS Nagar, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala.

The night curfew will remain in place in the districts from 11 pm to 5 am.

Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori had earlier in the day said the order will be effective from Saturday till further directions.

However, there will be relaxation for workers or staff working in factories which run on 24-hour shifts and also in cases of medical emergency.

These orders will not be applicable on people returning after travelling in buses, trains or flights.

The chief secretary in a tweet has urged people to get themselves vaccinated and to continue to follow the COVID-appropriate behavior.

Last month, the Punjab government had authorised deputy commissioners (DCs) to impose the night curfew in coronavirus hotspots if needed.

Punjab has been witnessing a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases for nearly four weeks.

Jalandhar reported 242 cases on Thursday, 134 cases on Friday and 154 on Saturday, promoting the district authorities to take this decision.

Jalandhar is at the second spot in terms of coronavirus cases after Ludhiana. It has so far reported 22,410 COVID-19 cases.

There are a total of 926 active cases in Jalandhar as of now, according to a medical bulletin.

SBS Nagar, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur on Saturday reported 156, 85 and 137 cases, respectively.

Punjab on Saturday reported 1,179 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally to 187,348 cases. Twelve more deaths took the fatality count to 5,910.

Punjab is among the five states that has been asked by the Centre to refocus on strict surveillance, containment and RT-PCR testing to check the growing number of cases. The other four states are Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Earlier, health officials had ascribed the upswing in the number of cases to non-adherence of COVID-19 safety guidelines like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing by people.

Earlier, the state government had lifted the night curfew from January 1 because of a decline in coronavirus cases. PTI TEAM CHS VSD RDK RDK