Punjab’s Jalandhar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar impose night curfew
Authorities in Punjab’s Jalandhar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on Saturday imposed a night curfew to contain the rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the districts. "Observing the hike in the COVID-19 cases in Jalandhar district, night curfew has been imposed from 11 pm to 5 am from March 6 and will be applicable till further notice," a notice issued by the office of Jalandhar district magistrate Ghanshyam Thori said.
The district administration, however, has exempted factories where work is carried out in shifts through the day (24 hours) from the night curfew. Essential services, travellers and traffic on national highways have also been allowed during the period.
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Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district, which has reported 921 active cases of Covid-19, the highest across the state till Friday, has also imposed a night curfew. This year, more than 400 students and 58 teachers of government schools tested positive for the disease. After Jalandhar, SBS Nagar, which was the first Covid-19 hotspot in 2020, is the second district of the Doaba region to have imposed the night curfew.
The northern states reported a sudden spike of infections this week with the daily tally of Covid-19 cases surpassing 1,000 for the first time in five months. The last time Punjab reported more than 1,000 cases was on October 5, 2020. Though the single-day tally came down to 818 on Friday, the state led by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has stepped testing especially in Jalandhar, which logged 242 new cases on Thursday and 177 the following day.
Officials said the health department had enhanced testing across the district, especially in schools, due to which detection of Covid-19 cases has gone up. People were already directed to strictly comply with Covid-19 guidelines and informed that violators would be fined, they added.
As Punjab is witnessing a fresh spike, the central government has sent a high-level team to the state to assist the state health department in Covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures.
The team led by Dr SK Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi, will visit the hotspot areas and find out the causes for the upsurge. They will report back their observations and remedial measures to be undertaken by the state health authorities.
According to figures released by the Union health ministry on Saturday morning, Punjab had 6,661 active cases and as many as 5,898 people have died of the viral disease.