Not in favour of imposing lockdown: Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij

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Chandigarh, Apr 13 (PTI) A day after the Haryana government imposed a night curfew to check the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Home Minister Anil Vij on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of lockdown in the state and asserted that COVID-related guidelines will be implemented strictly.

The number of daily cases in Haryana has been on the rise with Gurgaon and Faridabad districts being the worst hit.

On the possibility of imposing lockdown to contain the surge in cases, Vij, who also holds the health portfolio, said, 'We are not in favour of imposing lockdown. We are not considering this as of now. We want life to go on and at the same time lives should be saved (from coronavirus) and that is possible with strictness.' 'Keeping in view the growing number of coronavirus cases, we have imposed night curfew and taken other steps like imposing restrictions on gatherings,' he said.

For indoor gatherings, 50 per cent of hall capacity with a maximum of 200 people is allowed while not more than 500 people are allowed in outdoor gatherings. Not more than 20 people are allowed for a funeral, he added.

'We are taking all necessary steps, but we can succeed only with people's cooperation,' Vij said.

He urged people to show the same seriousness in following the guidelines as they had shown last year.

'Everyone will have to strictly follow the guidelines. Wearing masks when out of home is a must. People will have to religiously follow all guidelines if we have to check the spread of cases,' he said.

On reports about the exodus of migrants following the imposition of curbs and night curfew, the minister reiterated, 'No one needs to leave or go anywhere. We are not going to impose lockdown.' As far as those who work during night shifts are concerned, they can reach their workplace before 9 pm and after 5 am when there are no curfew restrictions, he said.

Vij said that additional chief secretaries of departments of home, health and urban local bodies have been instructed to ensure that people wear masks and follow all other COVID-related guidelines.

He assured that there is sufficient stock of COVID-19 vaccines and all other arrangements are in place to check the spread of the disease.

He added that 45,000 quarantine beds, 11,500 isolation beds, 2,100 ICU beds are available besides a sufficient number of PPE kits and masks, etc.

Vij said 70 per cent of total active cases in the state currently are under home isolation and health department teams regularly monitoring them.

So far, 26 lakh people have been vaccinated in the state and a target of inoculating 10 lakh more during the four-day vaccine festival has been set.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Thursday said states should observe the vaccine festival from April 11 to 14 to inoculate the maximum number of eligible beneficiaries against COVID-19. PTI SUN VSD DIV DIV