Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in his Facebook Live session #AskCaptain, opined that the decision on further extension of lockdown in the state beyond June 30 would depend on the prevailing situation. The chief minister said, "If we are able to control the pandemic then there would be no need for lockdown but if it goes out of control then we have no choice. Lockdowns were imposed for the safety of Punjab's people."
With regards to ramping up the testing capacity in the state, he said that four more testing labs had already been approved by his cabinet, which would help scale up testing two-fold over the next few days. It will further be ramped up to 20,000 tests a day by the end of this month, he said.
"The state government was in the process of fixing the rates. All the treatment and medicines for COVID-19 is being provided free of cost in government hospitals," he said in response to a question about private hospitals overcharging COVID-19 patients.
He also brought the attention of citizens to the issue of increasing violations of COVID-19 norms. He pointed out that on Friday alone, 4,024 people were penalised for not wearing masks and 45 for spitting in public. With the coronavirus cases spreading across the country, the chief minister said the norm of wearing a mask in the public had to be strictly followed.
When asked for a decision on cancellation of examinations in universities and colleges, which has already been announced by some states, the Chief Minister said the Vice-Chancellors will be meeting the Education Department, which will also seek the University Grant Commission's directions in the matter. "The final decision will be taken within two-three days", he said. Responding to Ludhiana resident's request for cancelling online classes to provide summer vacations in schools, the chief minister said the vacations had already been adjusted against the time lost due to the lockdown and no more holidays could be given. He also emphasised on the importance of continuity in education even during the testing times of COVID-19.
When a resident requested about reopening gyms, the chief minister said the decision lies with the Centre since the National Disaster Act is in force.
Punjab on Saturday reported 100 new COVID-19 cases and 7 deaths, taking the total number of infections in the state to 5,056 and the death toll from Coronavirus to 128.
(With inputs from agencies)