Won't impose coronavirus lockdown: Haryana CM

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Chandigarh, Apr 19 (PTI) Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Home Minister Anil Vij on Tuesday reached out to migrant workers, ruling out the imposition of a coronavirus lockdown in the state and told them to continue with their work without worrying about it.

Their assurance has come amid apprehensions that the state government may impose a lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.

“We have said we will not impose a lockdown. We want to assure them on this,” Khattar said in his televised address to the people of the state.

The chief minister said if migrant workers head home on the basis of mere 'apprehensions', they will lose work and a new phase of difficulties will start for them.

'So, they should not entertain any worry and continue with their work,' he said.

Meanwhile interacting with reporters, Vij reiterated that the state is not imposing any lockdown.

He asked migrant workers not to pay heed to “any propaganda” and said they should continue to work like before.

“I have asked the industry to run at full capacity. I have told them that COVID protocols should be followed in factories,” said Vij.

A migrant worker in Haryana's Bahadurgarh, who along with few others was going to catch a bus to UP, told reporters that many workers were apprehending the imposition of a lockdown like Delhi.

“As Delhi has imposed a lockdown, what if Haryana follows suit? If that happens, we will lose work. In that situation, we are better off at our homes,' he said.

Vij said Haryana's three districts—Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonipat--were contributing half of active cases in the state.

With Gurgaon witnessing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases this month, Vij said 800 additional beds are being provided in the district so that people do not face any difficulty, he said on Tuesday.

To a question, Vij said many patients from Delhi could be seeking treatment in Haryana's NCR districts and added that they will treat every patient coming to the state.

Vij reiterated that he has ordered testing and vaccination of all farmers sitting on Haryana's borders with Delhi.

“Today, I spoke to deputy commissioners of Sonipat and Jhajjar to talk to farmer leaders in this regard so that this process could be speeded up,” said Vij, who is also the state’s Health Minister.

Meanwhile, on the prevailing COVID situation, Khattar said, “We are passing through a difficult phase”.

Various departments are putting in best efforts to ensure people do not face any problem, he said, assuring people on the availability of beds, oxygen, ventilators and medicines.

To further augment oxygen availability, we are taking steps, he said.

Of 2,131 oxygen beds, 731 are occupied by coronavirus patients while of 1,080 ventilators available, 131 are in use, he said.

He further said 526 COVID centres having 45,000 beds are currently available.

There is no need to panic, he stressed and urged people to follow all COVID-related guidelines.

Khattar informed that the state has arrangements for conducting 40,000 tests per day, which it intends to scale up to 70,000 tests a day soon.

Private hospitals will charge Rs 500 for testing and Rs 600 for the collection of samples from home, he informed. PTI SUN VSD RDK RDK