Punjab CM appeals people not to setp out on Baisakhi in view of COVID-19 crisis

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Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder on Sunday appealed to the people to pray (deliver Ardas) at 11 a.m. tomorrow, on the occasion of Baisakhi, from their homes for the state’s victory over its deadly COVID-19 enemy, for the protection of their children and the future generations.

In a Baisakhi eve message to the people of Punjab, the Chief Minister said this was a different Baisakhi, in view of the Coronavirus pandemic, as a result of which people could not go out to celebrate the festival with traditional fervor, in large congregations. It was necessary for all to stay at home, in this difficult time, and observe the occasion with prayers for the total elimination of COVID-19 from the state, he said.

“Let us pray to Wahe Guru to keep us, and our Punjab, in the Charhdi Kala, to keep us safe and happy always,” urged the Chief Minister, pointing out that even the Akal Takht and SGPC had appealed to the people not to congregate or gather outside to celebrate Baisakhi this year.

Expressing the hope and confidence that Punjab would be victorious over the pandemic, Captain Amarinder appealed to the people to do their duty in this battle, just as lakhs of frontline warriors were doing to keep them safe and protected. He thanked the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, other health and sanitation workers, the police, the revenue staff, the religious organisations, the NGOs and everyone else engaged in fighting the battle at the frontline, putting their own lives on the line. He thanked the SSPs and the DCs for managing the situation so effectively and efficiently, and expressed the confidence that they would all continue to work relentlessly even in the coming days in the interest of Punjab and its people.

Pointing to the global COVID-19 crisis, the Chief Minister said the situation was relatively better in Punjab, and in fact across India, due to the early lockdown/curfew and its strict enforcement. It was important to continue with these stringent and difficult measures, despite the inconvenience and frustration being caused to everyone, he added. Underlining the need to continue with such strict restrictions, he cited various studies/research papers/models/expert opinion to stress that if we do not implement the lockdown in the coming days, then the situation could get out of control. The numbers being projected by all these experts etc, in the absence of isolation/lockdown, are scary, he pointed out.

Though there were some problems with the supply chain at the beginning of the clampdown, things were now on track and would improve further in the coming days, said the Chief Minister, assuring every person in the state of his government’s full support in this hour of crisis. He promised the migrant labourers and other poor/needy people that his government will continue to take care of them, and ensure that not a single one of them will go hungry, till the COVID crisis ends.

Captain Amarinder said all arrangements were in place for the wheat harvesting, set to commence on April 15, and promised another season of smooth procurement, in line with his government’s track record, not just now but even in the previous stint.

Underlining the need to give serious thought to the way ahead, the Chief Minister said the Task Force set up to work out the curfew/lockdown exit strategy will submit its report within 10 days, and a high-powered committee, to be headed by a leading finance expert, would work on ways for economic and industrial revival of the state post COVID.

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