Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu

COVID-19 infection spreading to rural areas, problems will increase: Punjab health minister

ANI | Updated: May 04, 2021 13:47 IST


Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], May 4 (ANI): Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Tuesday said that the coronavirus infection has started to spread to the rural areas because of which the positivity rate and the number of deaths are increasing in the state.
Speaking to ANI, Sidhu said: "The situation of Punjab is similar to the country. The positivity rate and the number of deaths are increasing in the state. People from Delhi, Haryana and other states are shifting to Punjab and this is the main reason for a surge in cases in the state."
He said that the state government has imposed restrictions for the people coming from other states. "Now, they have to show negative COVID-19 report and vaccination certificate, then they will be allowed to enter in Punjab and we hope that this restriction will make difference".
"Now, the infection has started to spread to the rural areas and that will increase the problem for the state. That is why we have urged people to stay at home, take all the precautions and follow all the guidelines and advisory of the government," he added.
Taking about the vaccination process, he said that except for the frontline workers, people over 18 years of age are not being vaccinated as the state doesn't have enough vaccines.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed to fulfill his promises on the vaccine. PM Modi had earlier claimed that he had won the fight against COVID-19 but now the situation is such that there is no vaccine, no medicine and if the situation remains the same then the whole country will be chaos," added the state health minister.
Sidhu added that the state government is doing everything possible to curb the spread of coronavirus. "We are trying our best, we are increasing beds, doctors but somethings are not in our hand and that should be provided by the Centre so that we can do our work."
He also said that the state is facing an oxygen shortage too.
Meanwhile, the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMA) Chandigarh on Tuesday announced an extension of night curfew from 6 pm to 5 am every day along with a complete weekend curfew till May 11.
"Night curfew to continue from 6 pm to 5 am every day along with complete weekend curfew. Restricted movement from 5 pm on May 4 to 5 am on May 11, with only essentials shops to remain open. Home delivery up to 9 pm and takeaways till 5 pm to be allowed," SDMA Chandigarh said.
The guidelines further said that tall government offices will run from 9:30 am to 5 pm till further orders and private offices will continue to work from home as much as possible.
"Government offices and banks to work with 50 per cent capacity. Public transport to ply with 50 per cent capacity as well," it added.
As of now, Punjab has 60,709 active COVID-19 cases while 9472 people have so far lost their lives to the disease in the state. (ANI)

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