Following a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in adjoining Union Territory of Chandigarh and Punjab’s Mohali district, the Panchkula administration Friday imposed additional restrictions on cross-border movement.
The entry and exits will be sealed from Saturday morning, and essential services will be permitted movement only subject to several conditions, including downloading of Aarogya Setu app.
The administration has ordered that non-Panchkula residents whose jobs require every day travel to the district will have to be accommodated in the district itself by their managements. The Panchkula residents working in places outside the territory of Panchkula district would have to make similar accommodation arrangements with their management, as per the order from the Panchkula administration.
The cross-border movement in unavoidable circumstances of any “specific case” will be allowed subject to three conditions — the downloading and use of Aarogya Setu app, thermal scanning and symptomatic screening at border checkposts when entering Panchkula, and use of rapid testing facility if any person entering Panchkula is found symptomatic, the District Magistrate said in the order. The conditions are also applicable to those falling under consolidated exemptions announced by the district authorities.
🔴 In a list of consolidated exemptions issued in the order, authorised government officers and staff of the offices, officers belonging to the Punjab and Haryana High Court and other courts, health professionals belonging to Government agencies will be allowed movement.
🔴 Those with specially issued ‘restricted movement passes’ provided by the Government of India, Government of Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh (UT) are also exempted.
🔴 Exemptions will also be given to media personnel specifically permitted/issued a restricted movement pass by the authorized officers of states of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh, who, too will have to fulfill all cross-border conditions as laid above.
🔴 Ambulances, ATM cash vans, LPG, oil containers, et al, will fall under exemptions. Essential services, including vegetables trucks, fodder for animals, supply of medicines and medical equipment, logistics movement of essential and non-essential services et al, will be permitted with one driver and one helper or security guard.
🔴 Transit logistics movement on National Highways or State Highways for cargo/raw material/finished goods, however, such vehicles shall not be allowed to halt in territory of Panchkula district.
“The order shall remain in force till further orders and may be reviewed on periodic basis as per the prevailing circumstances”, states the order issued.
Why has the order been passed?
The step, according to the authorities, has been taken as the cumulative number of reported positive cases of COVID-19 in the bordering areas of Panchkula was more than 150 on April 30. “And these large numbers remain potential threat to district Panchkula due to its distinct geographical location in spite of the extensive contract tracing and the testing already done for the reported positive cases in district Panchkula,” reads the order.
Pointing out that despite curfew orders in Chandigarh and Mohali (Punjab), a large number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus has been reported, the order further said, “ keeping in view contact history traced to cross-border sources, it becomes imperative in public interest that following measures are undertaken to contain any further spread of the virus.”
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