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Amarinder warns of lockdown if situation in Punjab doesn’t improve

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. File Photo

Chandigarh, MAY 4 (MNN) Asserting that he was not in favour of a complete lockdown in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has warned that he would be forced to consider such a step if the coronavirus situation did not improve in the state.

He also cautioned people against laxity in adherence to restrictions imposed in the state.

The Chief Minister said that he had so far refrained from ordering a sweeping lockdown because it will hurt the poor the most and also lead to exodus of migrant labourers, plunging Punjab industries into chaos again.

However, if the people do not stringently comply with the restrictions in place, harsher steps might have to be taken, he added.

The state is currently in a soft lockdown situation, with strong curbs in place, with additional restrictions imposed by the government on Sunday.

Chairing a high-level virtual meeting on Monday to review the Covid situation, the Chief Minister ordered a stop on all take-away deliveries from restaurants. Only home deliveries of food should be allowed, he directed the officials.
He, however, gave permission for shops selling fertilisers to be open.

Punjab industry should be encouraged to use CSR funds for vaccination and treatment of their labourers suffering from mild or moderate illness, so that they can stay home, thus reducing pressure on hospitals.

Meanwhile, Amarinder Singh also appealed to the Indian government that more oxygen tankers be made available to Punjab.

Punjab currently has only 15 oxygen tankers at its disposal, with two more likely to available by Tuesday, but these were not enough to handle transportation requirements for oxygen supplies coming from other states.

Punjab has 195 MT allocation from various plants in other states, but the actual supply received over the past 7 days has been around 110-120 MT daily, which too has been erratic, the Chief Minister noted.

The current oxygen consumption in the state is more than 225 MT daily, while the average increase in demand every day is around 15-20 per cent.

Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan warned that unless the state got more tankers, the situation could aggravate.

In addition to 90 MT from Bokaro, the state’s current allocation is 60 MT from Baddi plant, 20 MT from Panipat plant, 15 MT from Roorkee plant and 10 MT from Dehradun plant.

Besides, around 80 MT is generated daily in the state ASUs and local PSA.Amarinder warns of lockdown if situation in Punjab didn’t improve

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