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Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

Punjab extends lockdown till 17 May, daily four hour relaxation

  • The development comes four days before PM Modi has to decide about the status of nationwide lockdown
  • Captain Amarinder Singh says his govt will find all ways to give people relief during lockdown

NEW DELHI : Four days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to decide about the status of nationwide lockdown, Captain Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government became the first state to extended the lockdown by nearly two weeks ahead of the 3 May deadline when the current lockdown was scheduled to end.

At the end of the scheduled first phase of lockdown too, Punjab was among the first few states that had unilaterally extended lockdown even before the union government had announced a formal extension by three weeks.

Singh made the announcement in a video message on Wednesday, saying that lockdown restrictions in Punjab are being extended till 17 May but daily relaxation to the curfew would be made in the mornings from 7AM to 11AM in non-red and non-containment zones. He said the extension of curfew was necessary because the pandemic was still spreading.

“I want to reiterate that this disease has spread in the whole world and it is not going to stop right away. Some experts are saying its effect could last till July-August, no one knows because not much is known about this pandemic. I assure you that I will find all ways to give your relief. So we decided that daily from 7AM to 11AM the lockdown will get lifted. You can step out of your homes and can also access shops which are open but confirm to lockdown post 11AM," Singh said in a video message released on his official Twitter account on Wednesday evening.

In a relief to industries, Singh added that such industries which could take care of its labour or those who live in the vicinity could restart work to help daily wage earners and contribute to the economy. He added that the only thing to combat the disease is social distancing and urged people to follow all related norms while stepping out of their homes.

On Monday, Modi held a virtual meeting with chief ministers to assess the situation of the extended lockdown and most of them flagged that the pandemic was still spreading and restrictions need to continue but with assistance to open up economic activities in non-red zones.

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