Situation very dangerous, restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 threat in Raj: Gehlot

Jaipur, Apr 19 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday said the 'lockdown-like restrictions' imposed in the state are meant to control the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and not create panic among people, including labourers.

He said the situation was 'very alarming and dangerous' and the decision to impose the restrictions was taken after a review meeting.

'The new guidelines and provisions issued last night are aimed at containing the steep surge in positive cases and deaths. At the same time, we have ensured that there is no panic among the labourers,” Gehlot told PTI.

After the state registered a record single-day spike of 10,262 coronavirus cases and 42 deaths on Sunday, the government late night issued an order to impose lockdown, which is called 'Public Discipline Fortnight', from 5 am on Monday to 5 am on May 3.

Earlier, the state government had imposed weekend lockdown across the state from 6 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday.

'We are in a dangerous situation and everyone must follow the guidelines and adopt COVID appropriate behaviour,' Gehlot said.

The chief minister said the complete lockdown last year created panic among the labourers. On Monday, the state government announced balanced guidelines with restrictions as well as exemptions.

'The fight of corona will not be fought in hospitals. For this, people will have to be disciplined. Corona will be defeated when we behave in a disciplined manner,” he said.

“We have called it 'Public Discipline Fortnight' because self-discipline is very important in the fight against coronavirus. Everyone should strictly adhere to the guidelines and mandatorily wear a face mask in proper manner and maintain social distancing,” Gehlot said.

DGP ML Lather told PTI that since there are several categories of exemptions, the movement of people on roads was not much restricted.

'It is called public discipline fortnight because people are supposed to act in a discipline manner. They should not move around unnecessarily,” he said.

However, Lather said the police are conducting checks and asking people to follow the guidelines.

'Barricading has been done at different places to restrict public movement. Several people who were not under the exempted categories were also found travelling. They made different excuses but they were warned,” another police official in Jaipur said.

According to the guidelines issued by Principal Secretary, Home, Abhay Kumar, all private offices, select government offices, non-essential business establishments and markets will remain closed.

Industrial units and construction sites where labourers are employed will be allowed to function so that migration could be stopped, it said.

MGNREGA workers, cold storage and warehousing services, home delivery by restaurants, sweet shops, people associated with stock exchange, wedding activities, people going for vaccination, ration shops, procurement of Rabi crops on MSP, food and grocery shops, fruits, vegetable and milk vendors, people going to bus stands, railway stations and airports and all other essential services and departments related to essential and emergency services will be exempted from restrictions, the order said.

At present, there are 67,135 active coronavirus cases in the state. PTI SDA SNE