To check the spiralling number of Covid-19 cases, the Haryana government on Friday announced that a lockdown will be imposed in nine districts of the state over the weekend. The weekend restrictions will begin from 10 pm on Friday and remain effective till 5 am on Monday, an official order stated.
The districts where the weekend lockdown will be in force are Gurgaon, Faridabad, Panchkula, Sonipat, Rohtak, Karnal, Hisar, Sirsa and Fatehabad, Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said in a tweet. "The COVID-19 pandemic is again posing a threat to public health. The Haryana government has considered it necessary to take effective measures to prevent its spread in the state..," the order read.
"There will be a weekend lockdown starting from 10 pm on April 30 (Friday) till 5 am on May 3 (Monday)," it said. The government urged the residents to stay indoors during the lockdown period.
No person shall leave their home or move on foot, in a vehicle, or stand, or roam around in any public place during the lockdown period, the order said. Haryana had on Thursday recorded the highest single-day spike of 97 coronavirus fatalities that took the death toll to 4,118, while 13,947 fresh cases pushed the infection count to 4,74,145, according to a health department bulletin.
Gurgaon district, which has been the hardest-hit, saw a huge surge in cases with 5,042 infections on Thursday, its highest single-day tally, while 1,563 infections were reported from Faridabad. The huge surge in cases in the state has also put pressure on the health infrastructure, even as state authorities over the past few days have been trying to meet the increased demand of medical oxygen supplies and oxygen beds.
Those exempted from the lockdown restrictions in the nine districts are people tasked with law and order, emergencies and municipal service duties and government machinery tasked with COVID-19 related duties. There shall be no curbs on those engaged in manufacturing of essential goods and movement of both essential and non-essential goods and people appearing for exams.
All vehicles/persons in bonafide transit (interstate/intrastate) shall be allowed to pass, but only after verification of point of origin and destination, the order stated. Restaurants/eating places, hotels including food joints in various malls can remain open only for home delivery, as per the order.
Passengers going to or returning from the airport, railway station or ISBT/bus stations shall be exempted, it said. Farming operations by farmers and farm workers in the field and movement of harvesting and sowing related machines like combined harvester and other agriculture/horticulture implements shall be allowed, the order further read.
All marriage functions which have taken prior permission from the concerned district magistrates or officers authorised by them, shall be allowed subject to the limit of a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity with a ceiling of 30 persons in indoor spaces and 50 outdoors. Hospitals, veterinary hospitals and all related medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sectors, such as dispensaries, chemists and pharmacies, nursing homes, ambulance services etc will continue to remain functional. The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses, paramedical staff, other hospital staff shall be permitted, it said.
Commercial and private establishments exempted include telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services, IT and IT enabled services, delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment etc through e-commerce, petrol pumps, power generation, transmission and distribution units and services, private security services. All industrial units/entrepreneurs shall mandatorily apply on 'Saralharyana' portal by providing necessary details in order to generate requisite passes for the employees/staff, the order said.
Enforcing authorities have been asked to take note that the restrictions fundamentally relate to movement of people, but not that of essential goods, it said. The government said action as per law will be taken against those violating the lockdown measures.