Now, night curfew in Chandigarh from 6pm
The Chandigarh administration on Wednesday decided to extend the night curfew timings in the city to 11 hours. Effective from Thursday, the curfew will be imposed from 6pm to 5am daily and will remain in force till further orders.
The decision comes on the day the city recorded 11 deaths related to Covid-19, which is the highest since the outbreak last March. Positivity rate in the city is consistently being recorded around 20%, which means of every five people sampled, one is found infected daily.
The administration has also decided to close all cinema halls and multiplexes, impose a blanket ban on social, political, religious or cultural gatherings, and further limit the attendance at marriages and funerals. While these decisions will remain in force till further orders, the closure of educational institutes has been extended till May 15.
The decisions were taken during the Covid review meeting chaired by the UT administrator VP Singh Badnore.
During the second wave, the administration had first imposed the night curfew on April 6, from 10pm to 5 am. The timings were revised to 9pm-5am on April 23, which have now been further revised. According to the orders, all shops and malls are to close by 5pm, though home delivery is allowed till 9pm. All non-essential activities will remain banned during the curfew hours.
Any breach of this order will invite action under Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code along with other applicable laws.
No decision on weekend lockdown
UT adviser Manoj Parida said the decision was taken to ensure uniform curfew timings in the tricity. On the prospects of a weekend lockdown, he said: “It is under consideration. We will wait for Haryana’s decision, before taking a call on weekend lockdown and longer lockdown in the city.”
Notably, the Punjab government had announced fresh restrictions on movement on Monday, extending the night curfew by two hours, from 6pm to 5am, and ordering a strict weekend lockdown. Earlier, Haryana had also directed the closure of non-essential shops from 6pm.
In the meeting, Badnore also expressed serious concern over the increasing number of Covid-19 cases. He directed the hospital authorities to enhance ICU beds, and suggested that non-critical patients or mild and moderate cases can be shifted to Covid Care Centres or home isolation.
“All beds should be kept in reserve for severe and critical cases only,” he said, while also directing the health department to set up a control room to track oxygen availability and other needs of various hospitals and take remedial steps quickly.