Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the next 25-30 days will be extremely crucial for containing the spread of coronavirus in the light of the easing of curbs and opening up of the economy.
Singh directed the police to ensure strict compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols, including social distancing and wearing masks.
"The next 25-30 days will be extremely crucial for containing the spread of the coronavirus in view of the sudden opening up of the economy, as well as office/commercial activity after a 55-day curfew," the chief minister said in a statement here.
He asked the police to continue with their hard work and commitment to maintaining the high levels of adherence to protocols and restrictions that had helped the state keep the spread of the pandemic in check.
"We cannot let all the benefits of all the work done by you in the past 55 days and sacrifices made by the people of Punjab go waste due to any complacency on our part now," he added.
Last week, Singh had announced that while curfew will be lifted in Punjab with effect from May 18, the lockdown will continue till May 31.
In line with the guidelines issued by the Centre, the state has also allowed a host of relaxations in non-containment zones, with local buses also starting to ply in a phased manner.
Singh has also ordered strict enforcement of restrictions which bar people from moving out between 7 pm and 7 am, except for medical or essential needs, in accordance with the Centre's guidelines for lockdown 4.0.
The relaxations have been provided to the people for their ease and convenience as they had suffered immense hardships during the curfew period, he said, but made it clear that no deviation from protocols and restrictions would be tolerated.
Acting on the directives of the chief minister, Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta asked all commissioners of police (CP) and district police chiefs across the state to register FIRs and impound vehicles, or issue challans, in case of any violation of the lockdown restrictions.
"We should send a strong message to enforce various restrictions stringently," Gupta told his officers.
All senior superintendents of police and CPs have been asked to ensure that people compulsorily wear masks while stepping out of their homes, the DGP said.
They have been directed to enforce strict social distancing not just at shops, offices, banks and liquor outlets, but also in vehicles, as well as public and private transport buses.
Under the new guidelines, vehicles can ply within the state, except in containment zones, subject to strict protocols.