To further streamline the curfew management and facilitate supply of essentials in the light of the 21-day national lockdown which started Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has issued a fresh set of directives to the police and civil administration, including detailed instructions for issuance of passes to maintain the critical systems and services in order to ensure that the people are not inconvenienced in these difficult times.
At the same time, Amarinder has ordered that the requisite protocol issued by the Health Department for testing of suspected cases should be followed meticulously. Giving the highest importance to tracing all international passengers who arrived after March 10, the Chief Minister has directed that the work should continue unabated. He has also directed the health department and police to ensure further monitoring of those already traced and placed under home quarantine.
While continuing with its earlier curfew orders, the state government will take all possible steps to avoid any undue inconvenience to the providers of essential services and the general public, the Chief Minister assured the people. He has directed the police and administrative officials to ensure that door-to-door delivery of essential services is maintained for the desired/prescribed period and it may, as far as possible, be further streamlined with the assistance of e-commerce companies/service providers, a government statement said.
Volunteers may also be engaged, if necessary, for ensuring prompt door-to-door delivery of essential services and commodities, said the Chief Minister. The providers of essential services whether individuals (hawkers/delivery boys) or institutions should be allowed to operate for fixed duration but on specific permissions and after observing required health safeguards, he added.
For special goods trains, which have been arranged to move food grains out of the State to ensure adequate storage space for the coming wheat crop, the Department of Food has issued complete protocol. DCs should ensure the movement of these trains in keeping with these guidelines and the protocol issued by the Food Department.
The Chief Minister has also ordered sanitization of affected or vulnerable areas, etc for which guidelines have been issued by the Department of Health & Family Welfare may be undertaken in both concerned towns and villages.
On directives of the Chief Minister, Secretary Arun Sekhri on Wednesday issued revised curfew management guidelines to all the Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Police/SSPs, as well as other senior officials concerned with managing the situation. The DCs have been asked to ensure strict compliance of the guidelines.
As per the revised curfew management guidelines, government offices that have been designated in Government of India’s order will be allowed to remain open with skeletal staff.
In order to ensure supply of other essential services, specific state government offices may also be required to remain open with minimal functional staff. Such state and central government employees that have been allowed to report on duty as per GoI;s order will be allowed to travel from home to office on their institutional Identity Card, and specific curfew passes will not be necessary, the revised guidelines states.
It is specifically provided in the guidelines that for employees of Governments including PSUs and SPUs, of Haryana, Punjab and UT of Chandigarh who are residing in Mohali district (especially Mohali and Zirakpur) and are facing acute problems in reaching their offices, located in Chandigarh and Panchkula, it has been decided that they may be allowed to commute to their offices for official duty (not with their families or in groups) by showing their Official or Institutional Photo ID Cards and they would not be required to obtain special curfew passes.
All other Government employees will be directed to work from home and remain available on call should any such need arise.
While there would continue to be no general relaxation in curfew, if it is decided by the district administration in due course to relax it in a selected area, due care must be taken to avoid overcrowding and to observe prescribed social distancing, according to the guidelines.
Permits will be issued for fixed period that may be the period of curfew, to all those exempted by GOI/GOP. Such permits can even be in the form of authorization letters. Institutional Permits to the exempted institutions such as media houses, IOC/HPCL, Post Offices, Banks, Railways, Petrol Pumps, LPG Suppliers will be given through specific letters attaching therewith list of employees of each of such institutions. These employees will then be allowed to go to office in duty hours on their institutional identity cards but they may not be allowed elsewhere such as markets, etc for their personal work.
Those institutional permissions, which are issued for maintaining essential supplies should clearly mention so and would be valid across the state.
The individual passes may be given only in an emergency and if so required, such an individual may be permitted to use vehicle but for a given purpose only. Healthcare establishments (Hospitals, Nursing Homes, PHCs, CHCs), both private and government and their employees, should be given a general permission to operate and their employees may be allowed to commute for duty/work on their institutional Identity Card.
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