April 23, 2021 2:07:43 pm
A day after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Health Minister Anil Vij announced that shops in crowded areas across the state would shut at 6 pm, the state’s disaster management authority Friday authorised deputy commissioners to decide on the areas where shops would close.
The order issued by Haryana’s chief secretary-cum-chairman, Haryana State Executive Committee of State Disaster Management Authority Vijai Vardhan, read, “Whereas, the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic is posing a threat to public health, the Government of Haryana has taken necessary steps to prevent its spread in the State of Haryana.”
The order stated: “Whereas, in exercise of the powers under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the undersigned in my capacity as chairperson, state executive committee hereby authorises the deputy commissioners in the state to take necessary decision regarding closing of shops in such crowded areas of their districts as they deem fit after 6 pm and opening of restaurants/eating places only for home delivery with immediate effect.”
“Deputy commissioners are also advised to ensure that sufficient numbers of drug/ pharmaceutical shops and grocery stores may be allowed to remain open after 6 pm in the crowded markets, as is considered necessary, so as to avoid any inconvenience to citizens,” it added.
On Thursday, Anil Vij had tweeted, “All shops will remain closed from 6 pm onward in Haryana from tomorrow, all non-essential gatherings are banned, anybody holding any function within prescribed limit will have to seek permission from concerned SDM (Sub-Divisional Magistrate).”
From Vij’s tweet, it was perceived that the decision of closure of shops was a state-wide decision. However, the formal orders issued by the disaster management authority indicated the government had softened its stance by leaving the final decision on the deputy commissioners.
Haryana has 22 districts and all deputy commissioners would now be issuing formal orders regarding closure of shops in their respective jurisdictions. The orders have to come in to effect from 6 pm on Friday.
The Covid-19 transmission rate across Haryana has increased manifold over the last week. On Thursday, the state recorded its biggest single-day surge by adding 9,742 cases and 55 deaths. By Thursday evening, Haryana’s active Covid-19 case count had crossed 58,597 and 3,583 fatalities.
Among the 55 fatalities reported on Thursday, Faridabad and Gurgaon reported the highest tolls at 10 each, followed by Jind (6), Karnal (5), Panipat (5), Bhiwani (4), Yamunanagar (3), Fatehabad (3), Hisar (2), Ambala (2), Panchkula (2), Sirsa (1), Kaithal (1) and Nuh (1).
The number of patients in critical condition reached 1,814, including 1,647 on oxygen support and 167 on ventilator support.
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