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Those entering Punjab via air, rail or road are required to furnish a Covid negative report, cinema halls, bars and gymnasiums are to be shut and no dine-in is allowed in restaurants as part of added curbs announced in the state on Sunday amid rising COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
These restrictions, in addition to the earlier ones, will remain in effect till May 15, according to the Punjab Home Department’s directive to all deputy commissioners and district police chiefs.
Punjab is among the worst-hit states in the second wave of the pandemic. On Saturday, it registered 7,041 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest in a day, bringing the infection count to 3,77,990, while 138 more fatalities took the total count to 9,160.
All shops selling non-essential items will remain shut. Those dealing in medicines and essential items like milk, bread, vegetables, fruits, dairy and poultry products like eggs, meat, mobile repair will be allowed.
Not more than two persons can travel in a car, while no pillion riding on scooters and motorcycles will be allowed except for those belonging to the same family.
All government offices, as well as banks, will work at 50 per cent strength other than those where officials are involved in Covid management, according to the new directives, which also stated that deputy commissioners are authorised to draft services of any official for Covid management and related duties.
No gathering of more than 10 people, including for weddings, cremations and funerals, will be allowed.
Religious places will be closed at 6 pm every day and there must be no overcrowding. There will also be RT-PCR testing of street vendors and social distancing must be maintained in vegetable markets, according to the directives.
An appeal would also be made to farmer unions and religious leaders not to hold gatherings and restrict the number of protestors. There is total ban on political gatherings as well, it said.
The carrying capacity of public transport vehicles has been capped at 50 per cent and flying squads will enforce that it is followed.
All educational institutions would remain closed but the teaching and non-teaching staff of government schools to attend duty, it said.
All private offices have been told to work from home only.
Micro containment zones in high positivity areas are to be increased and special monitors would be designated for enforcement, said the government. All weekly markets would remain shut.
In the wake of oxygen supply shortages, the government said action will be taken against those hoarding oxygen cylinders.
All recruitment exams are to be postponed, it said.
There will also be a complete ban on government functions, such as inaugurations, foundation stone laying ceremonies unless permission of the deputy commissioner has been obtained.
The state government has already imposed a night curfew from 6 pm till 5 am and weekend lockdown from 6 pm on Fridays till 5 am on Mondays.