April 15, 2021 8:22:27 pm
Citing the huge surge in Covid-19 cases, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Thursday appealed to farmers, protesting against the Centre’s farm laws at Delhi’s borders, to with draw the stir on “humanitarian grounds”.
While Khattar reiterated that “there will be no lockdown”, his government tightened restrictions on indoor and outdoor gathering for social functions to 50 and 200, respectively. Earlier, the state government had permitted 500 people at outdoor events and 200 at indoor programmes.
Khattar said, “It is the constitutional right of every person to protest. We do not have a problem with anyone protesting in a peaceful manner. However, the situation due to rising Covid cases is a matter of concern. This is not the right time to protest”.
“I once again appeal to the farmers to withdraw their movement on humanitarian grounds. If they have to protest for their demands, they can do it when the situation improves,” Khattar said while presiding over a meeting called to review the coronavirus situation.
He also directed the deputy commissioners to contact the agitating farmers and try to persuade them.
Khattar said keeping in view the increase in the number of cases, they need to reduce crowding at public functions. “Therefore, it has been decided that from now on, not more than 200 people can gather in open spaces during public functions and not more than 50 at indoor functions. Similarly, no more than 20 people will be able to attend funerals,” Khattar said.
He directed all deputy commissioners to issue advisories to ensure that night-time ceremonies are shifted to daytime and the “Navratra” programmes be held during the day.
Home Minister Anil Vij, who also hold the health portfolio and attended the meeting, directed the DCs and district police chiefs to get the coronavirus-related guidelines strictly implemented.
“I can bear the anger of people for acting tough with them, but can not see heaps of bodies,” Vij said.
Vij further said there are only two ways to prevent the coronavirus spread. “The first is lockdown and the second is strictness. We want the situation to be dealt with strictness instead of imposing a lockdown,” he said, adding that reporting over 5,000 cases in a day is a matter of concern.
“So, we have to create containment and micro containment zones. Beds can be installed in schools and dharamshalas, if needed,” Vij said.
He also expressed concern over the “black marketing” of Remdesivir drug and said teams should be deployed to check it.
Khattar said that due to increasing cases in the country and the state, they need to take precautions. “Last year, the economic activity had stalled due to the lockdown, which took about six months to get back on track. Therefore, we have to keep in mind that the economic cycle should continue in the state and that no one is adversely affected as well,” he said.
“I appeal to the people to leave their homes only when necessary. They should wear masks, use sanitiser and maintain social distancing whenever they go out. There is proper arrangement of oxygen, ventilators and beds in the state. So people need not panic,” Khattar added.
He directed officials to hold all meetings online so that the movement of people could be reduced. Khattar said the state should include volunteers, ex-servicemen and Saksham Yuva in the task of dealing with Covid-19.
Khattar said as crop procurement is under way, the number of procurement centres should be increased to speed up the process. He directed the deputy commissioners to establish procurement centres in rice mills and schools for the next 10-12 days. “Lifting is decreasing in many districts. DCs of Sonipat, Panipat, Hisar, Jind, Sirsa, Dadri, Fatehabad, Gurugram and Palwal should be prepared as rain is expected and lifting should be done as soon as possible,” the CM added.
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