With an objective of curbing the spread of Covid-19 in the state, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered a series of emergency measures, including extension of weekend lockdown with daily night curfew from 7 pm to 5 am in all 167 cities and towns of the state from Friday.

 In a meeting to review Covid-19 situation in the state, the CM ordered a total ban on all gatherings except weddings and funerals across the state till 31 August. Government and private offices will work at 50% capacity till the end of this month, he directed.

Pointing to 920 Covid-19 deaths reported in the state so far, he said: “Each death pains me, and the projections for the coming weeks are grim. Enough is enough… We need to be tough without affecting the state’s economic activity.”

In the five worst affected districts of the state including Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and SAS Nagar (Mohali), restrictions on vehicular capacity have been imposed again, with buses and other public transport to operate with 50% capacity and private four-wheelers not allowed to carry more than three passengers per vehicle.

In the meeting, the CM directed the DCs in these five districts to allow only 50% of the non-essential shops to open on a daily basis to check crowding. These five districts are currently accounting for 80% of the active case load in the state.

He also directed Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta to strictly enforce compliance of rules with regard to the number of persons allowed to attend weddings and funerals, and also to ensure total ban on political gatherings till August 31, when the situation will be reviewed. He also asked the DGP to crack the whip on all political protests and gatherings, and asked his own party, Punjab Congress, leadership to enforce the ban strictly.