Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced a complete lockdown of the state beyond Sunday’s ‘janata curfew’, to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seven more persons tested positive for coronavirus in Punjab on Sunday, taking the total number of confirmed cases of the deadly infection to 21 in the state, official said.
All fresh coronavirus cases were reported from Nawanshahr district on Sunday and they were either family members of a 70-year-old man, who was earlier tested positive, or the ones who came in contact with the septuagenarian, the official said.
Punjab’s decision follows that of neighbouring Rajasthan, which announced a complete lockdown from 22 to 31 March.
The Punjab government is yet to issue more details about the total lockdown but had announced a partial lockdown in the state Saturday in the Jalandhar, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Bathinda and Nawanshahr districts.
The number of total COVID-19 positive cases had spiked from three to 13 Saturday, and several hundred primary and secondary contacts of the patients had been put on home quarantine.
In an emergent meeting of the state chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh with deputy commissioners Saturday, it is learnt that the top official had said the national lockdown owing to PM Modi’s call for a ‘janata curfew’ Sunday should be implemented since it could be a “good precursor” to similar restrictions that may be imposed later.
The chief secretary also ordered mandatory quarantine for every passenger who has arrived in Punjab from a foreign country since 16 March, adding that the door-to-door awareness campaign the government had launched has now been stopped.
Six of the 10 new cases confirmed Saturday are family members of a 70-year-old man from Nawanshahr district who died due to complications arising out of COVID-19 and a history of diabetes and hypertension.
The other new cases include a 42-year-old woman from Mohali’s Sector 69 who had recently returned from the UK. Meanwhile, a 28-year-old employee of a car agency in Mohali, who had travelled with Chandigarh’s first coronavirus patient from the Amritsar airport too has been found to be positive.