Chandigarh, April 17
As the state government is going for isolating hotspots and mass testing, it’s likely to extend curfew beyond May 3. Restrictions can be lifted in a phased manner, as per the guidelines issued by the Centre.
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has hinted that the state will wait until May 3 for instructions from the Centre, while officials deliberate on a state of affairs that does not call for complete withdrawal of restrictions on May 3.
Officials say that because the official machinery, farmers, labourers and arhtiyas are engaged in a mammoth exercise of harvesting and procurement of wheat which can continue until June 15 staggered restrictions in urban areas could continue until June.
“Panchayats have lifted self-imposed curfew in villages in view of wheat procurement. Some industries in industrial zones and non-urban areas have been allowed to operate. The government may allow some more industries to start operations depending on the need,” a government functionary said.
Sources say the state can be ready with an exit plan well before May 3. The Chief Minister has indicated that an expert committee report on staggered exit from the five-week lockdown was expected in 10 days.
The Chief Minister has already indicated that there is no choice, but to continue with stringent restrictions, given the threat of the pandemic spiraling out of control. But he admitted that the lockdown would not continue until September, which is when experts claim that the Covid curve is expected to flatten in India.