Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, April 1
The police on Wednesday found some representatives of drug wholesale firms with ‘fake’ curfew passes and asked them to apply for new passes. The two persons were allegedly carrying photocopies of curfew passes. Shivdarshan Singh, SHO, Civil Lines police station, said the representatives of medical stores must use original curfew passes for travel. “We have asked them to obtain passes according to the government’s directions,” the SHO said.
A large number of chemists, led by Surinder Dugal, the general secretary of the Punjab Chemist Association, gathered at Novelty Chowk and protested against the move of the police. “We are following the state government’s directions which allow chemists who have passes to further issue them to their workers. The government has authorised chemists to give signed copies of our passes to our workers,” Duggal said.
He said if the police continued to “harass” their representatives, they would take up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner. The chemists claimed that cops were misbehaving with their representatives delivering medicines on the doorstep of the people.
SHO Shivdarshan Singh said: “The instructions are clear that everyone should have a curfew pass. But we are giving them relaxation for a time being so that they can obtain one.” The police have issued several challans, booked many people and impounded vehicles for violation of the curfew.
IMA donates masks, sanitisers, safety kits
The Indian Medical Association, Amritsar Chapter, came out in support of government staff fighting coronavirus at hospitals and donated medical equipment, including N95 masks, PPE kits and hand sanitisers to Government Medical College and office of the Civil Surgeon.
Rabinder Singh Sethi, IMA Amritsar, said city private hospitals had set-up isolation wards for 361 patients, 155 beds for ICU, and 53 ventilators at the government disposal. Sethi said medical staff, including doctors, nurses and paramedics have also been imparted training to deal with coronavirus positive and suspected patients.
He added that in addition isolation wards had been prepared in various private hospitals for an emergency situation. The IMA is also organising awareness programmes in various institutions to educate public about precautions that need to be taken, he said.
Civil Surgeon Prabhdeep Kaur Johal said flu desks had been set-up in all hospitals including private. She added a list of doctors and paramedical staff volunteers would also be prepared. She said there was no need to panic about the coronavirus, as it can be avoided with just few precautions foremost is staying at home.
Bizmen seek relief on electricity bills
With industrial units lying shut down for over a week due to the curfew, industrialists have sought relaxation in electricity charges.
They have requested the government to allow a three-month moratorium on the monthly consumption bills. “We must be allowed to pay the bills in 12 monthly instalments without late payment charges. In addition, fixed charges for the period from March 22 to until the curfew is relaxed should be waived,” an industrialist said.
“Owing to the curfew, all sources of income have dried up. We are also bearing the cost of retaining labour in addition to the fixed electricity charges. The production and dispatch of finished material has ground to a halt and payments for sold articles aren’t forthcoming as banks, too, are shut,” Kamal Dalmia, a member of PHD Chamber.
Chemist held for selling sanitisers at higher prices
Tarn Taran: The police on Wednesday arrested Ranjit Singh, owner of JK Medical Store, Khadoor Sahib, 25 km from here, under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
Deputy Commissioner Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal said the accused, Ranjit Singh, was selling hand sanitisers at the rate of Rs 90 per 100 ML for which the price was fixed at Rs 50 per 100 ML by the Government of India (Ministry of Consumer Affairs) vide its notification No SO 1197(E) (March 21, 2020).
The DC said the information was received from a social worker when the inspection was conducted jointly by District Drugs Inspector Sukhdeep Singh and ASI Harbhajan Singh. The DC said all the 23 pieces of sanitisers of 100 ML and 30 ML had been seized. The DC had warned the shopkeepers against charging more than the fixed price for essential commodities.
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