The Punjab government has decided on Friday to extend the lockdown in the state till May 1 to contain the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus. The decision was taken following a state cabinet meeting today. In a video conference with cabinet ministers today, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said, “Prediction by experts about the spread of the virus are horrendous and frightening.” He added that the government is preparing itself and gearing up for such a situation.
This decision comes at a time when Punjab is seeing a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the past few days, pushing the total count to 132 so far with 11 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 21 fresh coronavirus cases have been reported.
Punjab extends lockdown/curfew in the state till May 1st pic.twitter.com/mCjw01uy4D— ANI (@ANI) April 10, 2020
Keeping in mind the present harvesting season, the CM said Punjab will allow district-wise relief from the lockdown only to farmers in order to allow them harvesting of Rabi crop. Yesterday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced a similar extension in his state till 30 April. The nationwide lockdown is set to continue till 15 April amid various states and experts recommending an extension.
Whether to extend the 21-day national lockdown after it ends on 14th will be decided after a meeting of Prime Minister Modi with all the Chief Ministers through video conferencing on the 11th of April. Several states have requested to extend the lockdown, while some others have favoured a limited lockdown after 14th April. The PM is expected to announce a decision after the meeting and before the current lockdown ends.