Coronavirus: Curfew relaxed in Punjab

Chandigarh, Mar 25 (PTI) The curfew clamped in Punjab to check the spread of coronavirus was relaxed on Wednesday to let people buy essential commodities, officials said.

In many parts of the state, the curfew was relaxed from 6 am to 9 am for buying milk, vegetables and fruits and then from 8 am to 11 am for purchasing groceries and medicines, they said.

Though milk was delivered at people’s doorstep in most parts of the state, they were allowed to visit neighbourhood shops for buying vegetables and other items of daily needs, as per initial reports.

On Tuesday, the state government had announced that Deputy Commissioners will ensure door-to-door delivery of essential commodities such as groceries, milk, fruits and vegetables through pre-identified hawkers or distributors, wherever possible.

However, people at many places complained of being forced to pay more for buying vegetables and fruits, as per reports. While newspapers at several places were not delivered on Wednesday. 

The state government has released a district-wise list of helpline numbers for people.

Due to the curfew, there were some reports of farmers not able to reach cities to sell their produce including vegetables and other commodities.

A day after police used mild force against violators, people, barring at few places, largely remained indoors and adhered to the restrictions.

“Most of people have now understood and they did not venture out of their homes today,” said a police officer in Amritsar, adding that strict action would be taken if anyone defies the curfew.

On Tuesday, police had registered 232 FIRs and arrested 111 people for the curfew violation.

Punjab had imposed a state-wide curfew on Monday as a measure to check the spread of the deadly infection. It has reported 29 coronavirus cases so far.