CAPT AMARINDER SPEAKS TO DECEASED RAGI’S SON & NEPHEW TO EXTEND PERSONAL CONDOLENCES

· ASSURES FULL SUPPORT IN TREATMENT OF COVID-19 POSITIVE FAMILY MEMBERS

ISSUES STRICT DIRECTIONS ON CREMATION PROTCOLS

Chandigarh, April 5-Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday called up the son and nephew of the deceased Hazuri Ragi Padma Shri Bhai Sahib Nirmal Singh Khalsa to extend his personal condolences, and assured them of the government’s full support in the treatment of the family members who had tested positive for COVID-19.

All the patients currently being treated for COVID-19 would be provided proper care in line with the government’s medical protocol, the Chief Minister assured the Ragi’s son Amiteshwar Singh and nephew Jagpreet Singh. The Health Department would closely monitor their progress, he said, and asked them to personally contact him should they need any further assistance.

Captain Amarinder enquired about the well-being of the members of the family who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were undergoing treatment in various hospitals, according to an official spokesperson.

Terming as unfortunate the delay in the Ragi’s cremation due to the unfounded fears of some local persons in Amritsar, the Chief Minister said this was due to misinformation and he had issued strict directives that no such incident should be allowed to take place in the future.

He said he had asked the State Chief Secretary and DGP to ensure proper compliance of Government instructions by all health and other officials at the district level, as well as to educate the public and to take strict action against those found violating such instructions.

‘Every deceased person deserves proper cremation and there is a laid down health protocol on handling the body of a deceased COVID patient. This must be duly followed and local people should dispel fears that cremation of a COVID patient may spread the disease in the area,” said the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister had earlier yesterday deputed Medical Education Minister OP Soni to visit and check on the affected family members in hospital and ensure proper treatment for them.

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CAPT AMARINDER ASKS DGP TO INSTITUTE SPECIAL AWARD TO HONOUR POLICE PERSONNEL GOING BEYOND DUTY IN BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19

2 COPS WHO HELPED MOGA WOMAN DELIVER BABY ON ROAD CHOSEN BY DINKAR FOR 1ST TWO AWARD DISCS

SHO KOT KHALSA OF AMRITSAR CHOSEN AS 3rd AWARDEE FOR HIS MASSIVE EFFORTS TO SUPPLY RATIONS IN SLUMS.

Chandigarh, April 5 :To honour and motivate the police personnel working in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has authorized the DGP to institute a new award for cops carrying out exceptional work, going beyond the call of duty, during the current crisis.

DGP Dinkar Gupta said he had chosen ASI (LR) Bikar Singh, and Constable Sukhjinder Pal Singh of Moga for the first two of the ‘DGP’s Honour & Disc for Exemplary Seva to Society’. The two police personnel had assisted a woman of Dharamkot, Moga, in delivering a baby two days ago after she had been denied admission by many hospitals late at night. In addition, DGP has also awarded Inspector SHO Sanjeev Kumar of Amritsar, who has been feeding the poor and hungry with a missionary zeal has been selected as the 3rd Awardee.

According to the DGP, the Chief Minister had taken the decision on the institution of this award in the light of the exemplary work being done by the Punjab Police to help people in the state during the current lockdown. Punjab is in its 14th day of curfew today.

Nearly 50000 police personnel are in the field, helping out people, especially the poor, underprivileged, unemployed and homeless cope, even spending out of their pockets to help out. In these difficult times, police personnel, both collectively and individually, have taken the lead in galavanising and mobilising the community to arrange for food for their less fortunate brethren, such as the daily wage workers and migrant labourers who have no money, food or shelter.

At a time when people can’t move out due to the curfew even for medical emergencies, including deliveries and vaccinations, thousands of policemen of all ranks have become social workers and caregivers etc.

The police personnel are also working in close coordination with NGOs and religious organisations, especially Gurdwaras, to ensure that all these people are protected and taken care of. Till date, they have supplied around 3.2 crore meals to the people of the State, which is more than the total population of the State.

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PUNJAB SETS UP TRANSPORT CONTROL ROOMS TO ENSURE SMOOTH MOVEMENT OF ESSENTIALS

RS. 1.85 LAKH PENALTY IMPOSED ON THOSE SELLING ABOVE MRP AS CM ORDERS CRACKDOWN ON HOARDERS & BLACKMARKETERS

CAPT AMARINDER GOVT STEPS UP SUPPLIES OF FOOD GRAIN & OTHER ESSENTIAL ITEMS TO DEFICIENT STATES BY 50%

CHANDIGARH, APRIL 5:In a series of new measures to ensure smooth supply of essentials to the people, the Punjab Government has set up Transport facilitation controls to maintain uninterrupted movement of trucks etc carrying such supplies, while deciding to impose Rs. 1.85 lakh penalty against anyone found selling essential items above MRP.

While the central transport control room is headed by the State Transport Commission, the facilitation controls rooms in the districts are headed by Secretary and the RTA, according to an official spokesperson.

Under orders from Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the Transport Department has also stepped up supplies for other states which are deficient in food grains and other essentials. The outward movement of stocks to deficient states has gone up by almost 50% over the normal, said the spokesperson, adding that nearly 20-25 rakes of wheat/rice containing 54,000-67,500 tonnes are being dispatched daily to the deficient States.

The Chief Minister, during the Cabinet meeting on Saturday, gave strict instructions to check the prices of all essential commodities and take strong action against those found hoarding/blackmarketing/overcharging. Enforcement teams are working constantly to check overpricing etc and are taking stringent action against those indulging in such malpractices, especially who are selling items on higher rates than the prescribed ones. As many as 15 establishments in Pathankot, 10 in Gurdaspur, 15 in Ferozepur, one in Ludhiana and 11 in SAS Nagar have been raided by the teams and one Gas Agency has been challaned, the cabinet was informed.

Meticulous monitoring is, in particular, being done for food items like wheat /atta and rice, dal, cooking oil, masala, vegetables, as well as masks, sanitizers etc. Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, informed the Council of Ministers that constant monitoring is being to ascertain the difficulties being faced in maintenance of supply line, besides collecting data from Excise and Taxation department and establishing networks with retailers like Reliance Fresh, Walmart, Big Bazar etc.

Constant liaison is also being maintained with the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for uninterrupted supply of essential goods. Further, Nodal Officers of Police and Food and Civil Supplies departments are coordinating and facilitating inter/intra state movement of essential commodities.

The newly formed transport control rooms will help the truck operators and drivers to move their trucks (loaded or empty) anywhere in Punjab for essential commodities’ transportation. These control rooms will liaison with various authorities to ensure that these operators don’t face any problem. They will also help truckers from Punjab who are facing problems anywhere in India by coordinating with the concerned authorities of those states.

Similarly, these control rooms will also help the traders, manufacturers of essential commodities based out of Punjab to engage trucks for transportation of essential commodities to its place of consumption, said the spokesperson.

The State Control Room has been established at Chandigarh with mobile numbers 9814078544 & 9023459522. In the districts, the control rooms have been set up at Regional Transport Authorities (RTAs) at Amritsar (Amritsar & Tarn Taran) mobile Nos 9814255623 & 8872383600, Bathinda (Bathinda & Mansa) 9779700074 & 7508732655, Faridkot (Faridkot, Muktsar & Moga) 9872676005 & 9914105200, Ferozpur (Ferozepur & Fazilka) 8146852748 & 7889221313, Gurdaspur (Gurdaspur & Pathankot) 7340701977 & 8288008751, Hoshiarpur (Hoshiarpur & SBS Nagar) 9646711100 & 8727049033, Jalandhar (Jalandhar & Kapurthala) 9872413497 & 9815256996, Ludhiana 9888405018 & 8528214311, Patiala (Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib) 8360417470 & 9501032006, SAS Nagar (SAS Nagar & Ropar) 8853400000 & 8427820090 and Sangrur (Sangrur & Barnala) 9814069272 & 9814700505. Goods Vehicle Operators/Drivers can contact these control rooms for assistance related to plying of their vehicles, for food availability and shelter on the routes, said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, as part of the relief operations, 10 lakh food packets comprising each of 10Kg wheat, 2Kg Dal and 2Kg Sugar have been distributed amongst the people living on the margins and left out of the NFSA domain. Another 1.2 lakh packets have been distributed amongst migrant population (around 7.5 lakhs) settled in different industrial cities/towns of the State viz. Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Batala. For supply of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders, refilling facility of 5kg LPG Cylinders is being provided exclusively to migrant workers in Ludhiana through retail chain and the entire cost is being borne by State Government. Oil companies are being facilitated for uninterrupted supply of Petrol, Diesel & LPG Cylinders by ensuring smooth movement of vehicles. An additional allocation of 2.2LMT wheat & 10,800MT of Channa Dal is also being distributed free of cost to NFSA beneficiaries under PM Garib Kalyana Yojana.

Door to door supply is being ensured of vegetables and other grocery items across the state. PUNSUP has been designated as nodal agency for managing the retail chain for allocation of wheat and rice from FCI and Markfed for allocation of Dal from NAFED and supply of edible oil. Sugarfed has notified control rates of Sugar at which wholesalers can purchase sugar to feed the retail chains.

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Rural Development department fighting at forefront in the rural areas in the war against corona

Gram Panchayats empowered to spend Rs. 50000 per month and Rs. 5000 per day for providing food to poor people: Tripit Bajwa.

Rural self-help groups making very effective masks, which are being provided at very low cost

Circles being marked with a color at 2 meters distance to maintain social distancing in villages

Sarpanchs authorized to issue a curfew pass in case of any emergency

Three rounds of sodium hypochlorite medicine spray completed the villages of Punjab

Chandigarh, April 5: The Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has given major responsibilities to the Rural Development and Panchayats Department in the villages to fight COVID-19.

The Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa in a statement issued here today said that the officers and employees of the department were fighting day and night at forefront in the war against corona virus.

Minister Tripit Bajwa said that various activities were being carried out by the department which include measures to maintain social distance in the villages, sarpanchs have been empowered to provide food and medicine to the poor using their resources, spread awareness Literature to the people in the villages, prepare masks by self help groups in the rural areas and sanitize the villages.

He said that he was informed by Mrs. Seema Jain Financial Commissioner Development and DPS Kharbanda Director that the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab has launched a comprehensive campaign to raise awareness among the people in the villages across the state. This is to ensure that more and more people are protected from exposure to virus-infected individuals and vulnerable individuals who may be infected with the Covid-19.

The Department of Rural Development and Panchayats is working at the war-footed level to ensure that social distance is maintained. Gram Panchayats have been asked to identify the places where different ways can be used to maintain social distance. In the villages, the circles were being marked with color at a distance of 2 meters. People were being urged to maintain social distance through daily announcements from gurdwaras.

The Pancaytas have been empowered to provide food and medicine to the poor using their resources. The Gram Panchayats have been authorized to spend a maximum of Rs. 50,000 per month and can spend Rs. 5000 per day for basic livelihood of the poor. Till date, Rs 316552 has been spent by 1752 gram panchayats to provide rations and medicines to the needy.

The Sarpanchs have been authorised to issue curfew passes in emergency situations. In the case of any medical emergency, the sarpanchs are authorized to issue a curfew pass during the night (7 pm to 6 am). Separate pass can also be issued to one of the companion with the patient. So far, 3910 passes have been issued by the gram Panchayats.

In addition, awareness campaign regarding Covid-19 is also being carried out by the department. WhatsApp groups of all sarpanchs have been created by the department under ICI activities in which awareness literature, videos and government orders are shared and most important to avoid any panic situation fake news and rumors are also countered. Other social media platforms facebook, twitter and Instagram are also being used by the department to aware people.

Another major initiative taken up by the department making masks through self help groups in the rural areas. The self help groups are also being motivated to make masks, which is also providing them opportunity to serve the people and earn money. The textile material for the mask can be easily obtained and masks can be easily made. These masks are very effective and can be reused. The Public is also being made aware how to use, store and wash these masks.

The department is also carrying out sanitization campaign in the villages and till date 307096 liters of sodium hypochlorite drug provided by the Punjab Alkalis and Chemicals Limited have been used for three rounds of spray in 12584 villages of Punjab.

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NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID 19):

EX-COMMANDANT DONATES RS 5 LAKH OUT OF HIS PENSION ACCOUNT FOR PUNJAB CHIEF MINISTER RELIEF FUND

BANK DRAFT OF RS 5 LAKH HANDED OVER TO CABINET MINISTER BHARAT BHUSHAN ASHU TODAY

APPRECIATES EFFORTS OF PUNJAB GOVT IN THEIR FIGHT AGAINST COVID 19

MORE PEOPLE SHOULD COME FORWARD & DON ATE FOR PUNJAB CHIEF MINISTER RELIEF FUND: BHARAT BHUSHAN ASHU

Chandigarh, April 5: While appreciating the efforts of the Capt Amarinder Singh led Punjab government in tackling Novel Coronavirus in the state, Ex-Commandant Mr Mohinder Singh today handed over a demand draft of Rs 5 lakh to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic. Mr Mohinder Singh Ex-Commandant and Leader-Mt Everest 96 has donated this amount to the Punjab Chief Minister's Coronavirus Relief Fund and the draft was handed over to Punjab Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Minister Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu at his residence, here today.

It is pertinent to mention that Mr Mohinder Singh donated this amount from his pension bank account.

76-year-old Mr Mohinder Singh said that it is the duty of every responsible citizen of Punjab to contribute to our state to fight this deadly virus so that we can save each and every life and get our country back to normal. He also thanked all the frontline soldiers, doctors, police personnel, administration, workers who are working tirelessly to control the situation by risking their own lives.

Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu said that on March 24, 2020, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had setup the COVID-19 relief fund and had appealed to people to donate generously. He urged the people and corporates to step up in this difficult time in the larger interest of the state and its people.

He further appealed to fellow Punjabis to also contribute big-heartedly and assist the state government in this hour of distress which would go a long way in mitigating the hardships being faced by the community. Mr Ashu said that all contributions can be made to Punjab Chief Minister Relief Fund COVID-19 Account No: 50100333026124, Account Type: Saving, IFSC Code: HDFC0000213 Swift Code: HDFCINBB, Branch Code: 0213, Branch Name: Sector 17-C, Chandigarh. For donating online, log on to: cmrf.punjab.gov.in.

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PUNJAB VILLAGES SHOW THE WAY TO COMBATTING COVID-19 WITH SELF ISOLATION

7842 OF STATE’S 13240 VILLAGES HAVE GONE INTO VOLUNTARY LOCKDOWN, VOPs ACTING AS KEY FACILITATORS

CHANDIGARH, APRIL 5:In Punjab, villages have shown the way to tackling the COVID-19 crisis amid the stringent curfew restrictions in place through `self-isolation’, while ensuring smooth movement of essentials.

In a big boost to the state government’s battle against COVID-19, as many as 7842 villages of Punjab’s 13240 villages have self-isolated themselves, to check further spread of the deadly pandemic. The Village Police Officers (VPOs), recently appointed by the Punjab Police as part of its unique 'One Cop for One Village' scheme, are playing a pivotal role in the facilitating the self-isolation.

Villagers have joined hands with the police in this bold measure of voluntary lockdown, and are also assisting police patrolling parties in restricting movement and preventing the entry of any unauthorised person. Only those carrying valid passes or essential services are allowed into the villages, which have constituted special isolation teams that helped the police force in the initial stage of curfew to sensitise the rural masses on the need for tight restrictions in the prevailing situation.

Interestingly, drug peddling in these villages has reduced significantly due to the presence of village watchers – an incidental but welcome side-effect of the self-isolation. This is because the villagers recognize one another and can immediately identify any trouble-makers, according to DGP Dinkar Gupta.

The self-isolation exercise began in the early stages of the lockdown when village panchayats were motivated by DSPs, SDs & SHOs to enforce the curfew restrictions. They were apprised about the benefit of voluntary village sealing in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Responding positively to the persuasion, villagers started blocking the entry points and setting up nakas to control movement. Social media campaigns also helped in motivating self-isolation.

The VPOs then took over to become the bridge between the villagers and the supply chain of essential items and urgent medical services, according to the DGP, who had launched the scheme on the directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder from Amritsar in February.

The DGP said Captain Amarinder has extended his appreciation for the role played by the VPOs in ensuring self-isolation of these villages, which have formed committees to effectively manage the self-isolation. The committees include the Sarpanch, Pradhan and Ward Panch of the village, with the VPOs staying in regular contact with the houses through a Whatsapp group that includes village/ward committee members.

These committees are facilitated by the local police in ensuring regular supply of essentials, such as medicine and food, as well as supply of fodder and animal feed into the villages. Veterinarian are allowed to visit into these self-isolated villages. Lifting of milk from villages by Verka and others is also being facilitated, while helps is provided, on demand, at PS and PP level on urgent basis for critically sick and other medical emergencies.

In some villages, complaints of misbehavior by youth deployed by the villagers at the nakas during evening/night time were received, but these were resolved through liaison between the villagers and police officers, said the DGP.

On the directives of the DGP, war rooms have been set up at the district level, and regular contact is maintained with the villages to assess the ground situation and ascertain any

paucity of essential supplies. All directions and advisories of health department and the government are directly announced at the village gurdwara sahibs and temples.

Volunteers are issued I-cards to help in the process of implementing all orders. They work to maintain social distancing and follow up on quarantined persons.

In Amritsar City, all 25 villages have voluntarily locked down while in Amritsar Rural, 158 of 840 villages are in self-isolation. The numbers for other districts are: Barnala (92 of 142), Bathinda (all 302), Faridkot (125/176), Fatehgarh Sahib (178/437), Fazilka (82/369), Ferozepur (490/699), Gurdaspur (382/665), Hoshiarpur (40/1639), Jalanadhar City (17/61), Jalandhar Rural (840/840), Kapurthala (538/554), Khanna (266/374), Ludhiana City (156/287), Ludhiana Rural (157/279), with Mansa (all 241), Moga (all 324), Patiala (666/966), Pathankot (347/443), Ropar (618/667), Sangrur (571/599), SAS Nagar (all 420), SBS Nagar (479/493), Sri Muktsar Sahib (225/235), and TaranTaran (103/550).

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Punjab Govt employees to get full salary despite Corona crisis: Manpreet Badal

Captain Govt releases Rs. 150 crore for relief works and Rs. 50 crore for medical equipments, says Finance Minister

Chandigarh/Bathinda April 5: The Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government has released Rs.150 crore for relief works in all the districts to fight battle against Corona virus.

This was disclosed by the finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal while reviewing the arrangements and preparedness of Bathinda district administration to contain the COVID-19.

Assuring every possible help in this difficult situation, Manpreet Badal said that the state government was fully committed for the safety of the people and all necessary measures were being taken to keep the spread of corona virus under check and the financial constraints would not be allowed in the relief works.

The Finance Minister further pointed out that the state has also released Rs. 50 crore for the purchase of medical and other necessary equipments. A Purchase Committee, headed by the Additional Chief Secretary, has been authorized to make all procurements related to COVID-19 disease and all equipments would reach in the districts within a week, he added.

Responding to a question, the Finance Minister said that the state government would provide full salaries to its employees despite the financial crisis due to the lockdown. Mr. Badal said that we are fighting a national war at this criticall juncture and advised everyone to refrain from taking political mileage on this issue.

Expressing satisfaction over the arrangements made by Bathinda Administration, the Minister said that 25,000 people is being served cooked food every day in Bathinda. Dry ration has been distributed to 7900 people. Apart from this, 1000 families, who were given a one-week ration, are now being again given today for next week's dry ration.

Referring to wheat procurement arrangements in the state, Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal said that Cash Credit Limit of Rs. 22000 crore has been approved and all the arrangements has been made for the smooth procurement and farmers need not to worry about the procurement of their crop as state government was fully committed to puchase every grain of the wheat. He also asked the official to ensure strict compliance of health protocol including social distancing in grain markets.