Chandigarh, Mar 18: Amid rising cases of COVID-19 in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced a two-hour extension in the night curfew in the state's nine worst-affected districts.
Singh said the coronavirus situation in the state is critical and warned people of stringent measures if they don't follow COVID appropriate behaviour.
"I won't be easy on the people. People may not like it, but it's my duty," the chief minister said.
He expressed hope that all Punjabis will cooperate and adhere to the restrictions.
"For God's sake, save the lives of Punjabis," he urged the residents of the state.
The night curfew will now be in place from 9 pm to 5 am, instead of 11 pm to 5 am, in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Rupnagar.
All these districts have been reporting more than 100 cases everyday.
The announcement came after 2,039 new cases and 35 more fatalities were reported in the state on Wednesday.
Ludhiana had reported 233 cases, Jalandhar 277, Patiala 203, Mohali 222, Amritsar 178, Gurdaspur 112, Hoshiarpur 191, Kapurthala 157 and Rupnagar 113.
Several stringent measures, including restrictions on gatherings, will be announced after discussions with the state government's expert COVID team over the next couple of days, the chief minister said while addressing a press conference to mark the completion of four years of his government.
"Whether these will include restrictions on political gatherings is also something that will be decided as per the medical expert team's advice," he added.