Jaipur: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday said the “lockdown-like restrictions” imposed in the state are meant to control the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths and not create panic among people, including labourers.

He said the situation was very alarming and dangerous and the decision to impose the restrictions was taken after a cabinet and a review meeting.

“The new guidelines and provisions issued last night are aimed at containing the steep surge in positive cases and deaths. At the same time, we have ensured that there is no panic among the labourers, Gehlot told PTI.

After the state registered a record single-day spike of 10,262 coronavirus positive cases and 42 deaths on Sunday, the government late night issued an order extending the weekend curfew, which was earlier scheduled to be implemented from Friday evening to Monday morning.

Called the ‘Public Discipline Fortnight’, the curfew came into force on Monday morning and will continue till May 3.

We are in a dangerous situation and everyone must follow the guidelines and adopt COVID appropriate behavior,” Gehlot said.

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The chief minister said the complete lockdown last year created panic among the labourers. Today, the state government has announced balanced guidelines with restrictions as well as exemptions, he added.

As per the guidelines issued by principal secretary home Abhay Kumar, all private offices, select government offices, non-essential business establishments and markets will remain closed.

Industrial units and construction sites where labourers are employed will be allowed to function so that migration could be stopped, it said.

MGNREGA workers, cold storage and warehousing services, home delivery by restaurants, sweet shops, people associated with stock exchange, wedding activities, people going for vaccination, ration shops, procurement of Rabi crops on MSP, food and grocery shops, fruits, vegetable and milk vendors, people going to bus stands, railway stations and airports and all other essential services and departments related to essential and emergency services will be exempted from restrictions, the order said.

We have called it ‘Public Discipline Fortnight’ because self-discipline is very important in the fight against coronavirus. Everyone should strictly adhere to the guidelines and mandatorily wear a face mask in proper manner and maintain social distancing, Gehlot said.

Currently, the state has 67,135 active coronavirus cases.



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