Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a series of emergency measures to prevent the rising novel coronavirus infections in the state, including the extension of weekend lockdown and daily night curfew from 7 pm to 5 am.
The restriction will be implemented in all 167 cities and towns in the state from August 21, said the chief minister.
Besides lockdown and night curfew, the CM has also ordered a total ban on all gatherings except weddings and funerals across the state till August 31.
Punjab has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases and the death toll for the last several days.
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On August 20, Punjab saw its biggest single-day spike of 1,741 coronavirus cases, taking the COVID-19 tally to 37,824 in the state, according to a medical bulletin. Thirty-seven more fatalities were also recorded in the state and the death toll now stands at 957, it said.
Four districts -- Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Amritsar -- account for 55 percent of the total coronavirus cases and 63 percent of the total fatalities in the state, said the medical bulletin.
Singh has also issued directions for increasing coronavirus testing capacity in the state to 30,000 per day, which is 20,000 tests per day.
The CM gave the directions while reviewing the coronavirus situation in the state with the top health and medical experts and officials through a video conference meeting.
During the meeting, Singh also directed the health department to supply ventilators free of cost to medical colleges and private hospitals.
The chief minister asked the department to provide more manpower, specially anesthetists, to those hospitals which had witnessed an increase in coronavirus patients.
(With inputs from PTI)Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.