The Punjab government is mulling extending the curfew in the state even after the courtywide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus gets over on April 14. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said the decision on curfew extension would be taken in light of prevailing situation around that time. Sources, meanwhile, told The Indian Express that officials across districts have been told to be prepared for an extension in curfew restrictions if things take turn for the worse.
“But the announcement would come at the right time as at this juncture, it would only add to panic in the state,” said a state government functionary.
Watch: Punjab mulls extending curfew beyond April 14.
The need for extra caution comes as Punjab approaches the harvesting of wheat from April 14. The state is also preparing for a massive wheat procurement operation from April 15. In this case, commission agents, labourers and all other paraphernalia associated with the process would be out and about. In such a scenario, it would be advisable to not let all the residents out, said sources.
Sources said the state had also witnessed return of migrant labourers after the borders were sealed. Government functionaries feel that curfew was the only option to keep them confined to their homes.
The state has recorded 53 positive cases and five deaths. The government is also closely watching if there is a multiplication of COVID-19 cases in the state after the influx of participants from Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat event to the state.