Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that there would be relaxation in curfew from 7 AM to 1 PM daily throughout the State to facilitate the people and to ensure that there was minimum inconvenience to them.
He was presiding over the video conference with all the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the state from Shimla today to take stock of the situation in wake of curfew in the State due to outbreak of Corona epidemic.
He urged the people to come out of their homes only in emergent situation as this curfew has been imposed for their safety.
He directed the Deputy Commissioners to ensure that there was no inconvenience to the people in getting essential commodities and to maintain proper social distancing between person to person during relaxation period. He said that the relaxation in this curfew was only for facilitating the people to purchase daily needs items and not for commuting from one place to other places un-necessarily.
Jai Ram Thakur said that state government has decided to extend the closure of all the offices of the state government up to 31 March, 2020 except those notified by the state government as essential services. He urged the employees to remain indoors and follow all the social distancing guidelines as prescribed from time to time and not to leave the station as they could be called for duty in short notice any time.
The Chief Minister said that fertilizers would also be made available to the farmers and horticulturists during of period of relaxation in curfew so that they do not face any problem in their agricultural activities. He said that helplines 104 and 1077 have also been activated for the facility of the people of the State.
Jai Ram Thakur urged the people of the State to purchase the essential commodities from the shops nearer to their homes by maintaining appropriate social distancing as it is the proper way to break the chain of corona virus. He said that liquor vends would also remain opened during the relaxation period of curfew in the State. He said that only one person of a family should be allowed during relaxation period of curfew for taking essential commodities.
He said that state government has decided to take the matter with the governments of Talangana, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to supply more pulses at the earliest to ensure that there was no scarcity of pulses in the State.
Jai Ram Thakur said that telecommunication services would be maintained in the State as this play an important role in awakening the society quickly about the steps being taken by the government to tackle the menace of corona virus. He said that leniency must be adopted to ensure movement of staff of telecom companies as they require movement for repair and maintenance of telecom towers.
He directed the DC’s of Solan, Kangra and Sirmaur districts in particularly to ensure that production in Pharma industries was not affected as they were preparing several live saving drugs. He also asked them to make adequate arrangements of food and shelter to the vulnerable sections of the society. He said that such people should be provided food and shelter for which school buildings could also be utilized. He said that care should also be taken of tourists stranded in the State as they would carry good memories of the administration once the situation becomes normal.
Jai Ram Thakur said that as many as 2257 people have been kept under surveillance out of which 636 have completed 28 days of surveillance period. The investigations of 34 persons for COVID-19 have been done today and all were found negative. He said that 133 persons have so far been investigated in the State for corona virus.
He also directed the DC’s to explore possibility of home delivery to the people by major departmental stores in urban areas which would go a long way in maintaining social distancing.
Chief Secretary Anil Kumar Khachi said that urban sanitation must not be ignored and adequate arrangements be made to provide safety equipments to the sanitary workers so that they were not exposed to infections. He said that representatives of urban local bodies and PRIs must be involved for better coordination and sensitizing the people regarding social distancing.
Additional Chief Secretary Health R.D. Dhiman said that Health department was ensuring all out efforts to tackle the menace of COVID-19 besides awakening the people about precautions to be taken to combat this virus.
Director General of Police S.R. Mardi assured the Chief Minister that police would be extra cautious in effectively monitoring social distancing during the relaxation in curfew time.
Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu said that overcrowding in and outside the liquor vends during the relaxation must be discouraged.
Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar, Principal Secretary Onkar Sharma, Secretaries Rajneesh and Devesh Kumar and Director Information and Public Relations Harbans Singh Brascon attended the meeting.
Earlier during the day, Special Secretary, Health Nipun Jindal also held a video conference with all the Chief Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents of the State to take feedback about the steps being taken for tackling the outbreak of corona virus in the State.