Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.. Image Source: IANS News

Chandigarh, July 12 : Amid spiralling Covid cases, the Punjab government is all set to impose more stringent curbs in the state, including further restrictions on social, public and family gatherings, as well as mandatory wearing of masks even while working.

Announcing this during his #AskCaptain Facebook live session on Sunday, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said strictness was necessary to check the spread of the virus as he did not want Punjab to go the way of Mumbai, Delhi or Tamil Nadu.

Asked why the state government was not going for weekend lockdowns to contain the spread, he said lockdowns were already in place and the government was keeping a close watch on the situation and would do whatever necessary.

Underlining the need for everyone to behave responsibly in the current crisis, Amarinder Singh exhorted the people to adhere to all curbs, even appealed to all political parties to avoid any kind of gathering to save the lives of Punjabis.

"It is our joint responsibility to save Punjab. Politics can wait," he stressed, calling for a collective fight by one and all against "the biggest danger facing humanity." Expressing concern over the rising number of Covid cases, with several frontline workers and even government officials testing positive, the Chief Minister said with vaccine still not in sight, it was left to the people to fight the coronavirus.

Pointing out that 5,100 people were challaned on Saturday for not wearing masks, with some cases of spitting in public also reported, he said these actions could not be allowed.

He further said his government would be distributing more reusable and washable masks to the poor.

Noting the importance of medical history in fatalities, the Chief Minister said all corona deaths in the state were being audited to enable doctors and experts to strategise in a more focused manner to fight the Covid.

In response to a question, Amarinder Singh attributed the increase in Covid cases in Punjab to increased testing and the large number of people coming from outside.

From 700 tests a day initially, testing has gone up to more than 10,000 a day, he said, adding that in just four days 63,000 people had entered from other states, including Delhi.

To a question on why Punjab was not making Covid negative certificates compulsory for those coming from hotspots like Delhi, as had been done by Himachal Pradesh, the Chief Minister said he could not comment on the decision of the neighbouring state but his government was taking its own steps to prevent influx of potential Covid suspects.

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