Chandigarh imposes weekend lockdown amid surge in virus cases

The order, which came into effect on Friday, shall remain in force till April 30

Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Chandigarh has announced imposition of ‘weekend lockdown’ from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., effective Friday.

The decision regarding the weekend lockdown in the Union Territory, among other restrictions, was taken at a meeting held here, presided over by Governor of Punjab and Chandigarh’s administrator V.P. Singh Badnore.

A government order said there will be a weekend lockdown starting from 10 p.m. on April 16 till 5 a.m. on April 19. Residents must stay indoor during the lockdown period and only essential activities will be allowed. During the weekend lockdown, home delivery of food will be allowed, it said.

“The order shall come into force with effect from 10 p.m. on April 16, and shall remain in force till April 30,” read the order issued by State Disaster Management Authority, Chandigarh.

Apart from this, other restrictions were also announced till April 30, including shutting of all gymnasium and spa; running of cinema halls with 50% capacity; functioning of all government offices with 50% of staffers; and a ban on social, cultural, political, religious events.

Notably, the samples of the latest findings of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), sent to National Centre for Diseases Control, have revealed that 70% of the samples had UK variant of COVID 19 while 20% had 681 H mutant of COVID-19.

Dr. Jagat Ram, Director of PGIMER said that the PGIMER’s department of Virology had sent 60 positive samples of COVID-19 to the National Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), New Delhi, in March 2021.

“It was found that 70% of the samples had UK variants of COVID-19, one sample was found to have double mutation and 681H mutant of COVID-19 was observed in 20% of the samples. Majority of the samples were from Chandigarh,” said Dr. Ram.

“Considering the high transmission and faster spread of COVID-19 by the U.K. variant, it is suggested that everyone should follow COVID-appropriate behaviour by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and using hand sanitisers frequently.”

‘Breaking the chain’

Stressing on the need of vaccination for priority groups, Dr. Ram said, “The priority groups of population should get vaccinated against COVID-19 disease, which will help in protection against this disease and reduce the intensity-severity of the disease that will further help in breaking the chain of the COVID-19 transmission.”

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