Punjab orders state-wide shutdown till March 31 to check spread of coronavirus : The Tribune India

Punjab orders state-wide shutdown till March 31 to check spread of coronavirus

Essential services and supplies to continue; not a "curfew"

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 22

The Punjab Chief Minister on Sunday issued orders for shutdown of all non-essential services and businesses with effect from Monday 6 am till March 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Only essential services will be allowed to function. All Deputy Commissioners and SSPs have been directed to issue relevant orders and implement the restrictions immediately, a top government functionary told The Tribune.

On Saturday, seven districts had ordered shutdown till Wednesday. The new order has put in place a shutdown till March 31 all across the state.


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Only essential services such as the police, health, power, emergency transport, supply of milk, food items, medicines, etc, will continue.

The government has not called it a "curfew", but a "lockdown". 

As of now, private transport would be allowed in emergency circumstances, besides essential services. The government is working out the details as well as mode of enforcement to be implemented from 6 am on Monday. (This story will be updated when more clarity is available)

An IANS report said the Chief Minister has announced a relief of Rs 3,000 to each registered construction worker in the state. The money would be transferred to their bank accounts by March 23 in a bid to mitigate the hardships being faced by them.

A sum of Rs 96 crore would be released for this purpose. The Labour Department has been directed by the Chief Minister to take immediate steps to ensure the transfer.

The Chief Minister while appreciating the decision of Rajinder Gupta, Chairman Trident Group, to close down his unit and offer full wages, housing and food to his employees during closure, has appealed to other Industrialists in the state to do the same and set an example for the nation.

The following is text extracted from the government order detailing the restrictions till March 31:

1.   All shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops, godowns etc. shall close their operations.

2.   No public transport services including operation of taxis/ auto- rickshaws etc. shall be permitted excepttransport of all kinds to and from hospitals, airports, railway stations, bus terminals/ bus stands. Specific routes to be allowed in the districts shall be decided by respective DCs.

3.   Strict home quarantine shall be observed by all foreign returnees (who landed in India on or after 09.03.2020) and their contacts/ other persons at risk as decided by the District Administration.

4.   All such foreign returnees shall also mandatorily contact the District Administration (104/112) and register themselves for home quarantine (as far as possible the COVA Punjab Mobile App)– failing which they shall be liable for legal action.

5.   People are required to stay at home and come out only for essential services and that too one member of a family at a time and strictly following social distancing guidelines issued earlier.

6.   Any gathering of more than 10 persons in public places shall be prohibited.

7.   All inter-state commercial transport shall be closed.

However, these restrictions shall not be applicable on the following essential services:

1.   All the essential commodities and services as defined under the Order No. IFD (1455)-2020/855 of Department of Food and Civil Supplies of 21.03.2020 and their manufacturing,supply chains, required transport andother logistics to ensure their availability.

2.   Public Offices (including officials and employees) tasked withemergency, law and order and essential functions:

a.   DC/SDM/Tehsil & offices subordinate to them

b.   Police.

c.    Health

d.   Urban local bodies

e.   Fire

f.     Defence Establishments and Central Police/ Paramilitary Organizations including NDRF

g.   Any other office as may be notified by the respective DC

3.   Rail & Air Transport

4.   Local Transport (to be regulated by respective DCs)

5.   Electricity, Water and Municipal Services

6.   Banks and ATMs

7.   Print and Electronic Media including social media

8.   Telecom/ Internet and Cableoperators and agencies appointed by them to maintain communication and internet services

9.   Postal services

10.  E-Commerce and its home delivery

11.  Shops of Food, Groceries, Milk, Bread, Fruit, Vegetable, Meat, Fish etc.(including departmental stores and supermarkets)

12.  Fair Price Shops under PDS

13.  Restaurants/ eateries fortake-away or home delivery only (no dine-in shall be permitted)

14.  Hospitals, Chemists including Optical stores and Pharmaceuticals manufacturing

15.  Petrol pumps, LPG gas, Oil agencies, their godowns etc

16.  Production and Manufacturing Units which require continuous process may continue to function, after obtaining permission from respective DC

17.  Other private establishments that support the above services. Any doubt as to whether an establishment is covered under this clause shall be decided by the respective DC.

Further, provided that restrictions/ exclusions as per local requirements may be made within by the respective DCs within the district.

These orders are to be meticulously complied and violations shall be dealt with severely under relevant provision of the IPC.

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