The Punjab Government announced stricter restrictions on movement on Monday, advancing weekday curfew by two hours and announcing a strict weekend lockdown—a development that comes as the state’s COVID cases have stretched its healthcare system to capacity.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said in a tweet that his government was enforcing lockdown from 6 pm to 5 am on weekdays and a weekend lockdown that would begin at 6 pm on Friday until 5 am on Monday.
His tweet, which comes after a cabinet meeting, said: “Due to continuous & rapid rise of #Covid19 cases in Punjab, Cabinet today has decided to impose daily lockdown from 6 PM to 5 AM and weekend lockdown from Friday 6 PM to Monday 5 AM. Urge you all to stay at home & step out only if absolutely necessary. Seek your full cooperation”.
Shops must close by 5 pm.
“All shops will remain open till 5 pm from Monday till Friday,” said Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar addressing the press after a cabinet meeting here.
Currently, curfew hours are from 8 pm until 5 am.
The development comes as the state’s healthcare facilities, like those in the rest of the country, come under immense pressure because of the rising COVID cases and dwindling beds, oxygen, and medicines. The state reported over 7,000 new infections cases on Sunday—the highest the state has seen since its first case in March last year.