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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Haryana imposes fresh curbs: All shops to shut by 6 pm from today; ban on non-essential gatherings

Khattar says oxygen row resolved, says he is personally monitoring Panipat plant’s distribution to Delhi, Haryana, Punjab

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: April 22, 2021 9:44:04 pm
West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana announced lockdowns, despite the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) directives to desist from imposition of these lockdowns and seek its clearance. (File)

IN AN attempt to curtain the rapid transmission rate of Covid-19 across the state, the Haryana government imposed fresh curbs on Thursday, and ordered that all shops would shut down by 6 pm hours from Friday (April 23) onwards, till further orders.

The shops will be allowed to open daily. The state government also banned all non-essential gatherings and made permission from the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) mandatory for holding any function.

The curbs were first announced by state’s Health-cum-Home Minister Anil Vij who 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.”

Later in the day, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar too announced: “As a precautionary measure, the state government has decided to close shops dealing in non-essential items in crowded markets from 6 pm from April 23 onwards.”

A detailed order clarifying which shops would be shut down and for how long was yet to be issued by the state’s revenue and disaster management department at the time of filing this report.

Vij told The Indian Express, “The shops can open daily, but will have to be shut by 6 pm daily. This step has been taken to avoid crowding in marketplaces during evening hours.”

Vij reiterated that the state government “was not thinking if imposing lockdown at this stage” and added that their priority is to first “strictly implement the existing measures that we are taking to curtail transmission”.

With several states embroiled in a slugfest over the medicinal oxygen quota, Khattar, Thursday, said, “Adequate arrangements have been made in the state to ensure uninterrupted supply of medicines, oxygen and other facilities to the patients suffering from Covid-19 infection.”

In a statement issued after chairing the Cabinet meeting, the CM also clarified queries regarding shortage of oxygen supply in state’s hospitals: “Though some difficulty was reported in the supply of oxygen to Haryana, Delhi and other states from Panipat plant, the problem has been resolved. I have held a detailed discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this issue.”

“A roster has now been made for filling of oxygen cylinders and loading these cylinders onto trucks from Panipat oxygen plant. From now on, one truck will be loaded for Haryana and one truck each for Delhi and Punjab. This entire process at Panipat plant is being closely monitored by me,” he added.

“A total of 170 metric tonnes of oxygen was supplied to Delhi from 10 pm to 6 am today from the Panipat plant. Furthermore, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had also received a call and expressed satisfaction for the supply of oxygen from the plant. The Panipat plant has a capacity of producing 260 MT of oxygen per day, out of which 140 MT is supplied to Delhi, 80 MT is supplied to Haryana and about 20 MT is for Punjab. Haryana is also supplied 20 MT from Bhiwadi plant in Rajasthan. However, yesterday there was some problem in the supply. Today, I shall talk to the Rajasthan CM,” Khattar said.
Responding to a question regarding the current status of availability of beds with ventilators for Covid patients in hospitals across the state, Khattar said, “The facility of beds has been made online in Gurugram and Faridabad districts. Besides this, around 500 beds have been arranged at SGT Medical College, Gurugram, 150 beds are being arranged in the industrial area and 50 more beds have been arranged, today. Indian Army has also taken the initiative of helping the state. DRDO is making arrangement of 500 beds each in Panipat and Hisar for Covid patients. Apart from this, talks are also being held with the Army Commander, Western Command, Chandimandir and efforts are being made to ensure availability of doctors and other facilities by the Army.”

Responding to a news item printed in an English daily regarding wasting of vaccine doses, Khattar said, “The news is baseless. In Haryana, wastage of Covid vaccine is only 1.5 per cent, which is within the prescribed limit. Once a dose is opened for vaccination, only 20-40 injections are utilised. Sometimes because of difference in number of doses opened and administered also becomes a reason for wastage.”
Responding to a question regarding blackmarketing of Remedesivir injection, Khattar said, “1000 Remedesivir injections were supplied in government hospitals till yesterday and the supply will be further increased in government hospitals. However, private hospitals are making arrangement for this injection at their own levels. There is a need to create awareness in society. Even in an pandemic-like situation, if someone is doing blackmarketing, strict action will be taken against those involved in this crime.”

Talking about the rates fixed for ventilator-beds in private hospitals, Khattar said, “As per the infrastructure facilities offered in private hospitals, the charges of ventilator beds are fixed from Rs 8000 to Rs 18,000. If a hospital charges more than this, strict action will be taken against it, provided any complaint in this regard is received.”

Khattar reiterated that there would be no lockdown in Haryana and industrial units would be allowed to function. “This time because of the ongoing pandemic, no industrial unit would be shut down. However, industries which are running their operations in congested areas will be asked to follow the prescribed Covid protocols while carrying out their operations.”

He added, “Covid guidelines have been issued for wedding ceremonies and other social programmes. As per the guidelines, a gathering of upto 50 people is allowed inside a marriage palace, while in outdoor venues, the gathering limit should be only 200 persons. Similarly, a gathering of only 20 persons is allowed for cremation.”

On April 21, the state had recorded its biggest single-day spike both in terms of new infections and fatalities by reporting 9,623 new infections and 45 deaths.

The state government Thursday also changed its academic calendar and announced summer vacations in all government and private schools till May 31.

“In view of the prevailing conditions due to pandemic, the state government has decided to change the academic calendar of the session 2021-22. Accordingly, summer vacations in all the government as well as private schools have been declared w.e.f. April 22 to May 31,” an order issued by Dr J Ganesan, special secretary (school education department) read.

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