Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday appealed to the Opposition parties to work unitedly with his government to overcome this unprecedented Covid-19 crisis. In a televised address to the people of Punjab, the Chief Minister said there were no mismanagement of the crisis or widespread infections in the state. Most of the cases now were those that were coming from other states, he said, disclosing that of the new cases reported, only seven related to local infection, while 93 were Punjabis who had come from outside the state. The CM called upon the people not to be worried about the sudden spike in numbers that could be expected over the next few days as more people return to their homes from other states, with the Centre’s decision to allow the movement of stranded persons.
Urging the Opposition to join hands and work shoulder to shoulder with his government, in the interest of Punjab and its people, the Chief Minister said, “We have a war at our hands, and it is time not to score brownie points but to show unity.” Citing the example of the appointment of Labour leader Clement Attlee as deputy PM by then Conservative UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill, when faced with war against Germany, Captain Amarinder said wars can only be fought and won unitedly. In an apparent reference to the Opposition’s criticism of his government’s handling of the Covid situation, the Chief Minister said nobody wants to hear negative things at this critical time.
People are already going through very negative times and want to hear positive things and good news, he added. He appealed to the people not to be afraid of quarantine, which was just a means to ensure that the returnees from other states do not spread the infection among their families, neighbours or others. Quarantine is nothing but a way to keep those coming back to Punjab in isolation while they are tested and given a clean chit by the doctors, said the CM. Amid reports of certain people sneaking through the borders to get back home, the he appealed to all not to resort to such dangerous measures, but to come in through proper channels.