With a large set of new relaxations coming into force today, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has directed the state police to ensure strict compliance with Covid safety protocols, including social distancing and wearing of masks.The next 25-30 days would be extremely crucial for containing the spread of the coronavirus in view of the sudden opening up of the economy, as well as office/commercial activity, after a 55-day curfew, the Chief Minister warned.He directed the Punjab Police to continue with their hard work and commitment to maintain the high levels of adherence to protocols and restrictions that had helped the state keep the spread of the pandemic under check.
“We cannot let all the benefits of all the work done by you in the past 55 days, and sacrifices made by the people of Punjab, go waste due to any complacency on our part now” the Chief Minister asserted.It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had last week announced lifting of the curfew with effect from May 18, but the continuation of lockdown in the state till may 30. In line with the guidelines issued by the Centre, the state has also allowed a host of relaxations in the non-containment zones, with local buses also starting to ply, in a phased manner, from today.Acting on the directives of the Chief Minister, DGP Dinkar Gupta has asked all CPs and SSPs across the state to register FIRs and impound vehicles, or issue challans, in case of any violation of the lockdown restrictions. “We should send a strong message to enforce the various restrictions stringently,” the DGP told his officers, citing the Chief Minister’s instructions.All SSPs and CPs have been asked to ensure compulsory wearing of masks by everyone stepping out of their homes, without fail, said the DGP. They have been directed to enforce strict social distancing not just at shops, offices, banks and liquor outlets (thekas), but also in vehicles (car/scooters/motorbikes), as well as public/private transport buses. Under the new relaxed guidelines, these vehicles can ply within the state, except in the containment zones, but subject to strict protocols.The Chief Minister has also ordered strict enforcement of the night curfew, which bars people from moving out, except for medical or essential needs, between 7 p.m and 7 a.m., in accordance with the Centre’s guidelines for Lockdown 4.0.The relaxations have been provided to the people for their ease and convenience as they had suffered immense hardships during the curfew period, said Captain Amarinder, but made it clear that no deviation from protocols and restrictions would be tolerated.