Coronavirus outbreak: Complete lockdown in Patiala, DC urges people to stay at homes
Section 144 imposed: Prohibits an assembly of more than four people; order in place until further notice; strict action will be taken against people violating the advisoryUpdated: Mar 23, 2020 20:57 IST
The civil and police administration in Patiala are facing a tough time in implementing complete lockdown orders issued by the Punjab government.
The government has allowed essential commodities including vegetable vendors, dairies, grocery stores and medical shops to remain open during the curfew, yet heavy rush can be witnessed at theses shops.
Some other shops were also open, but the administration swung into action and asked them to shut down. A team of senior district administration and police officials visited different areas in district and forcefully shut down shops.
The officials have directed shopkeepers to strictly adhere to the prohibitory orders. Deputy commissioner (DC) Kumar Amit said that the administration has been making efforts to curb spread of the virus even before the orders of full-fledged curfew were issued.
“Earlier in the day, people were seen assembled on roads. But directions were issued to officials concerned to ensure execution of the lockdown,” he said. A complete curfew was imposed in district after 2pm on Monday and no relaxation has been given as of now.
Inspector general of police Jatinder Singh Aulakh held a meeting before the curfew was imposed, to take stock of the situation.
The DC said the Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been imposed in district, prohibiting an assembly of more than four people, until further orders.
“It is imperative to take strict measures of isolation and social distancing to contain the spread of Covid-19 in district as a lot of non-essential movement of people and vehicles were reported. Such movements pose threat to life,” he said.
He added that compliance of these orders will be ensured by the executive magistrates. Violations will be strictly dealt with under the provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC). “Subdivisions have been divided into sectors and sector magistrates have been appointed for implementation of the curfew orders,” he said.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Mandeep Singh Sidhu said police have been asked to seal all entry and exit points of their respective areas and contain movement of vehicles.
FLAG MARCH HELD
Senior officials of civil and police administration held a flag march across city to sensitise people about Covid-19 and the importance of social distancing. The DC, SSP and MC commissioner Poonamdeep Kaur toured the city to ensure that the prohibitory orders are adhered to.
“The prohibitory orders have been put in place for safety of people. We need people’s cooperation. If anyone is found to be violating the curfew orders and guidelines issued by health department, stringent action will be initiated,” he said.
“Directions have been issued to officers at subdivision levels to hold flag marches in their respective areas and not allow anyone to roam around on streets,” the SSP said.
‘HERCULEAN TASK TO KEEP CHECK ON HOME-QUARANTINED PEOPLE’
The health department officials say that it is a Herculean task to keep check on the movement of home-quarantined people in Patiala. As many as 250 people have been put under isolation so far in district.
Health official said that they are receiving multiple complaints from neighbours of people that the home-quarantined people are keeping in touch with people outside.
Patiala civil surgeon Dr Harish Malhotra said, “We are getting complaints from that residents who have travel history of foreign countries are not staying at home during the 14-day home-quarantine period.”
He urged people to stay at home failing which, legal action will be taken against them. “If any person is found to be neglecting 14-day quarantine, legal action will be initiated against him. Total eight samples of suspected patients have been taken so far and all were found to be negative,” he said.
He said that the department is receiving 300 calls per day at the control room, set up to help residents regarding Covid-19 queries.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner (DC) Kumar Amit said that everything is under control and they are closely monitoring the situation. “If anyone is found to be violating the quarantine period, a first information report (FIR) will be registered against them,” the DC said.
NABHA ADMN ‘FAILS’ TO CURB FLOUTING OF ORDERS
Amid Covid-19 outbreak, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had ordered a lockdown in state till March 31, which was then converted into a full curfew. The Nabha administration is taking strict action against residents, but failed to check some local leaders from organising public gatherings.
The Nabha market committee members organised a swearing-in ceremony at their office which had more than 60 people in attendance.
Around 15 market committee members, chairman, vice-chairman and 40 staff members, municipal Congress councillors, cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot’s PA and other Congress leaders were present at the occasion.
Market committee chairman Jagjit Singh Dulladdi said that a grand programme was scheduled but they axed it to the minimum. “I had proposed to postpone the programme but the staff requested us to join formally since they needed our signatures to carry out services,” Dulladdi said.
Meanwhile, all non-essential businesses and services are closed following government orders to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but some liquor vends in Nabha were still doing business as normal.
Nabha sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Sooba Singh said that he will look into the matter and departmental action will be initiated against those flouting the orders. “Before the curfew orders, liquor shops were not barred from running business,” he said.