In a major decision, the Punjab government on Thursday has announced that two jails - Barnala and Patti have been converted into quarantine centers with immediate effect. The Punjab Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has stated that the 202 inmates from Barnala have been shifted to Central Jail Bathinda while the remaining 100 inmates have been shifted to New Jail Nabha. Meanwhile, 110 inmates from Batti jail have been shifted to District Jail Sri Mukatsar Sahib and the 412 inmates of said sub-jails have been shifted to other jails.
Randhawa added that any new inmate would be sent to these jails for quarantine after proper medical examination. Moreover, any symptomatic inmate in the state would only be sent to Barnala and Patti sub jails for quarantine. Currently, Punjab has 186 positive COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.
Prior to PM Modi officially extended the lockdown till May 3, the Punjab cabinet on Friday unanimously approved the extension of state lockdown till April 30. The state's special chief Secretary KBS Sidhu, informed that the current lockdown has been extended for an additional 21 days from Friday, ordering strict enforcement of the same. Apart from Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh had extended their state's lockdown.
The Nizamuddin Markaz event which almost amounts to 30% of India's COVID-19 tally has majorly contributed to the state's COVID-19 tally. Punjab is yet to track several attendees who are in hiding and has threatened action against those who fail to reveal their travel history. Apart from Markaz woes, Punjab is also tracing 64,000 NRIs who have come back to India in the past 4-5 months.
As of date, 10477 active cases have been reported of the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) - 1488 have been discharged and Maharashtra reported the highest at 2916. 414 deaths have been reported till date. India has suspended all visas and barred travel from Afghanistan, Philippines, EU, UK, China, Malaysia and mandatory 14-day quarantine from several other countries. PM Modi has extended the lockdown till May 3, with a relaxation possibility in non-COVID hotspots after April 20.