Punjab imposes night curfew; 50% capacity at restaurants, schools shut
Punjab on Tuesday implemented a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country. The new restrictions were issued after Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi chaired a conference to assess the state's COVID-19 situation. The new curbs will remain enforced until January 15, according to the directive issued by the Department of Home Affairs.
Why does this story matter?
The development comes after Punjab reported 419 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, up from just 51 cases on December 28. It also reported one death. The new restrictions come in the midst of an election campaign, however, political meetings and rallies are not subject to any limitations. Experts believe that the Omicron variant of coronavirus may cause a significant increase in infections in India.
Movement will be allowed in certain instances
"The district authorities are accordingly asked to issue prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC and ensure strict compliance," states the order issued by the Punjab government. "However, movement of persons and goods on national and state highways and unloading of cargo and travel of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains, and aeroplanes will be permitted," it states.
What are the restrictions imposed?
All multiplexes, bars, restaurants, museums, zoos, etc, will be permitted to operate at 50% of their normal capacity, provided that all employees are completely vaccinated. All sports facilities, stadiums, swimming pools, and gyms will be closed, however, athletes preparing for participation in national and international sporting competitions will be exempted. Only fully vaccinated employees will be allowed to visit offices.
What is the COVID-19 scenario in Punjab?
Punjab's total COVID-19 cases have increased to 6,05,922, according to the latest available daily bulletin on Monday. Active cases rose from 1,369 on Sunday to 1,741. Patiala registered 143 new cases, followed by Pathankot (58), Ludhiana (57), and Mohali (30). Further, 38 additional people recovered from the infection, bringing the total number of recoveries to 5,87,530.