Huge crowds were seen gathered at a vegetable market in Amritsar, in violation of the Covid-19 safety protocols, even as fresh infections surge across Punjab.
People at the market were not following physical distancing and some of them were found even without face masks.
This comes even though the state administration has ordered a complete ban on all social gatherings and related functions in 11 of the worst-affected districts, including Amritsar.
A night curfew has also been imposed from 9 pm to 5 am in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, SBS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar and Moga.
The central government said on Saturday that Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 76.22% of India’s total active caseload.
Cases in Punjab
The state has reported over 2,000 cases for four days straight. As many as 2,587 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Punjab in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally to 2,10,466.
In Amritsar alone, 195 fresh infections were seen on Saturday.
The disease also claimed 38 lives across Punjab in the same duration. With this, the death toll has gone up to 6,280.
The active cases have risen to 16,988, and 1011 more people were discharged, taking the number of recoveries to 1,87,198, according to a bulletin.
The state tested 38,963 samples for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.
Restrictions, strict vigil
The state police force is conducting strict checks at several points to ensure that all Covid-19 precautionary measures are being followed.
“Those who are found not wearing face mask are fined ₹1,000 and taken to a hospital for RT-PCR Covid test,” inspector Bhagwat Singh of SAS Nagar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
A day earlier, the Ferozpur police were making people found without face masks undergo on-spot Covid-19 tests and giving free masks to them.
The penalty for violations of the guidelines has also been increased manifold.
The Covid-19 patients found flouting the home isolation rule will have to pay ₹5,000 as a fine, as per the new guidelines announced by the state government.
In addition to this, owners of restaurants and commercial eating places will be required to shell out ₹5,000 if the physical distancing norm is violated in their establishment.