In an attempt to effectively impose the 21-day lockdown to curb the transmission of Coronavirus, the Punjab police has deployed drones to intensify surveillance against lockdown violators. DGP Dinkar Gupta informed that the drone surveillance began on Thursday and so far been deployed in 34 locations across 10 districts of Mohali, Sangrur, Fazilka, Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar, Barnala, Jalandhar (Rural), Moga, Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahi. Proving to be effective, in the past 48 hours, nearly 900 FIRs have been registered while 1250 people have been arrested and 800 vehicles impounded. Maximum number of FIRs - 119 - were registered in Jalandhar city, followed by 93 in Amritsar city.
The police has also launched an intensive search operation against black-marketeers and hoarders amid reports of shortages of essential commodities. A total of 62 establishments were raided on Friday and 23 were found to be indulging in black marketing or hoarding in Gurdaspur (10), Pathankot (4), Kapurthala (4) and Jalandhar (5), with another five challaned in Ferozepur, where the penalty will be imposed after the due procedure, DGP Dinkar Gupta disclosed on Friday evening.
The DGP has stated that strict enforcement of the lockdown has proven to be a deterrent for people to stay at home. So far, police have registered a total of 1784 FIRs on count of curfew violations, with the arrest of 2592 persons.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday had also prohibited all gatherings in the state and also addressed aggressive tracking along with a 21-day quarantine for all the returnees from Nizamuddin Markaz. This comes after the number of positive cases across the country skyrocketed due to the congregation between March 13 and 15. The Chief Minister also spoke to the acting Jathedar of the Akal Takht while directing the Chief Secretary to discuss the matter with the SGPC, in view of the upcoming Baisakhi festival.
According to DGP Dinkar Gupta, some 200 people from Punjab had visited Nizamuddin and returned to the state, at different times, with 12 districts believed to be affected. They were being tracked, along with some from other states who had arrived in Punjab for Tablighi Jamaat work. The Health Department has also been debriefing and contact tracing them. Although, so far, no Coronavirus confirmed cases related to the Markaz incident have come to light.