The Punjab government will on Monday announce more stringent restrictions in the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the state, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said. He said strict measures were needed to check the spread of the disease as he did not want Punjab to go the way Mumbai, Delhi and Tamil Nadu were going.
These are among the worst hit places in the country by the pandemic.
"We will have to impose more curbs in the state. Our government will tomorrow announce further restrictions on social, public and family gatherings in the state. Besides, people while working must also wear masks," said Singh during his 'AskCaptain' Facebook live.
Asked why he was not announcing weekend lockdowns like some other states, Singh said his government was keeping a close watch on the situation and will do whatever is necessary.
The chief minister asked people to adhere to all restrictions and also appealed to political parties to avoid any kind of gathering.
"It is our joint responsibility to save Punjab. Politics can wait," he stressed, calling for a collective fight by one and all against "the biggest danger facing humanity".
Expressing concern over the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the chief minister said that with a vaccine still not in sight, it was left to the people to fight the disease.
Punjab on Sunday reported four more fatalities due to COVID-19, taking the death toll to 199 while 234 fresh cases pushed the tally to 7,821.
Singh attributed the increase in COVID cases in Punjab to increased testing and the large number of people coming from outside the state.
He said the testing capacity has been increased to more than 10,000 tests per day from the earlier 700 tests a day.
Also, 63,000 people entered Punjab from other states, including Delhi, in the last four days, the chief minister added.
All coronavirus deaths in the state were being audited to enable doctors and experts to make a strategy in a more focused manner, he was quoted as saying in an official release.
To a request from the Medical Lab Technician Association, Punjab that their role be recognised as frontline warriors in COVID management, Singh said "the technicians are very much frontline workers and their role in the current crisis will never be forgotten".
Asked about regularisation of contractual employees, he said the cabinet sub-committee set up to look into the matter would submit its report and a decision would be taken by his government soon.