Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday announced a 4-week extension in the lockdown in the State, till June 30, with certain more relaxations, subject to the guidelines of the Central government.

Though experts have advised against opening of the hospitality industry and malls, Captain Amarinder said the State would take into account the Central government guidelines for Lockdown 5.0.

The Chief Minister announced this after an on-ground assessment of the COVID situation through a videoconference with health experts, top officials and his Ministers. The move is also in line with the Central government’s decision to extend the national lockdown beyond May 31.

Captain Amarinder said during a Facebook live session that the threat of COVID was not over yet, and if necessary, he would continue to take tough measures to save the lives of Punjabis. Making it clear that the extension of the lockdown in Punjab would be conditional to strict adherence to safety protocols, including physical distancing and wearing of masks, the Chief Minister also ordered distribution of free masks to the poor.

He said non-reporting to health authorities by those returning to the State, especially from abroad, was a big challenge. He said that 9,560 had been traced and tested, and some positive cases had been found among these.

Punjab recorded 36 fresh cases on May 30 and reported two deaths, taking the tally to 44, according to an official statement. The number of positive cases has reached 2,233.

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