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People defy lockdown orders, Punjab imposes curfew

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

The Punjab government on Monday imposed a curfew to combat coronavirus, making it the first state to take the drastic action after finding that many people were ignoring the lockdown ordered by it.

The authorities are enforcing a state-wide lockdown which came into effect on Monday and will last till March 31.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced the curfew as people were defying the lockdown, officials said.

After reviewing the situation with the Chief Secretary and the DGP, the CM has announced a full curfew with no relaxations, an official spokesperson said.

Curfew was imposed as people were still coming out in large numbers. So the idea is to keep them inside, a senior official told PTI.

Deputy commissioners have been asked to issue the necessary orders, the spokesperson said.

Anybody seeking relaxations to the restrictions will get them for a given period and purpose, the spokesperson added.

After the imposition of the curfew, police at many places in the state were asking shopkeepers, including chemists, to down shutters and telling people to go back to their homes.

At some places, people had rushed to the shops to buy essential daily-use items.

The Punjab government had on Sunday announced a lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus in the state. Punjab reported 21 coronavirus cases till Monday morning.

Initial reports in the morning from several places, including Amritsar, Moga and Ludhiana, said people were assembling in markets despite the lockdown order.

Police officials were making announcements in these shopping areas, asking people not to assemble and warning them of strict action.

Amarinder Singh had on Sunday appealed to people to follow health safeguards and avoid leaving their homes unless there was an emergency.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 14:44 IST