Chandigarh: Hours after issuing an advisory that also talked on extending the statewide curfew to tackle the coronavirus pandemic till April 30, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday clarified that there was no decision to extend it.
Terming media reports as purely speculative and unfounded, he categorically stated that the state government was yet to take a decision in the matter.
A decision in this regard would be taken after the Cabinet meeting scheduled for April 10, he added.
The Chief Minister clarified that the speculation on curfew extension had been triggered by an advisory to employees from the General Administration Department on a series of matters relating to the current situation.
The said advisory had subsequently been withdrawn by the Chief Secretary on his directives, Amarinder Singh added.
The state government was continuously assessing and reviewing the evolving situation, which was changing day to day, and any decision would be taken in the context of the conditions prevailing around mid-April, keeping in mind the overall interest of the state and its people, he said.
Though the pandemic was currently in control in Punjab, nothing could be predicted at the moment, given the ever-changing dynamics of the situation, said the Chief Minister, adding all the factors would be taken into account before coming to a final decision on extending or lifting the curfew, either fully or partially.
“We are keeping a close arch on the situation, not just in Punjab but across the country. We are also taking into account the way the pandemic is behaving in other countries so that we can imbue their learning and act accordingly,” he said.
The early clampdown in India had helped and while the situation was somewhat better than the more advanced nations, one could not get complacent, and the next few days would be critical to any decision on the way forward, he added.
Amarinder Singh reiterated that saving lives was the top priority of his government at the moment and whatever decision is taken will be centred around that, seeing how the pandemic shapes up in the state in the coming days.
The Punjab government had imposed a statewide lockdown on March 23, even a day before the Prime Minister announced the 21-day national lockdown.