Chandigarh, April 14 (IANS) The Punjab government planned to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) also to the police personnel in the battle against Covid-19, said Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, here on Tuesday.
Addressing the media via video link, Singh the state had 16,000 PPE kits and top priority would be given to the healthcare workers. The government would procure more kits to be given to the police personnel.
On the Patiala attack, the Chief Minister said he had told the Director General of Police (DGP) to take strict action against the perpetrators of crime. “What do the Nihangs think? They can’t get away with this,” he said.
Stating that his first reaction to the incident was of “extreme anger”, the Chief minister said ASI Harjeet Singh (whose hand was chopped off by the Nihangs) was an extremely brave man.
On relief work by cops, the Chief Minister said it was being conducted by the police in their own and from their own resources. No police personnel were being asked to do any work over and above their duty of enforcing curfew and maintaining law and order in the state, he added.
Given the threat of pandemic spiralling out of control, he said, there was no option but to continue with the stringent restrictions. He said the police had been instructed to strictly enforce curfew and not allow any any violation, even with regard to wearing of mask.
Conceding that the number of Covid-19 tests being conducted in the state was not sufficient, Singh said for the mass testing at least 10 lakh rapid testing kits were needed, which the government had ordered from the ICMR.
So far, only 1,000 kits had been received, which were being used in Mohali and Jalandhar.
On relaxations, as also announced today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said his government had set up a committee to examine was already examining ways of doing so without compromising on the health of people.
The people’s lives and health were the key priority, he said and added, the relaxations would have to be staggered.
He said there was no proposal to open liquor vends at present as the focus was on ensuring supply of essential goods. However, a decision would be taken in this regard also, but not now, he added.
He said there was no proposal to cut salaries of the government employees to garner funds to meet the Covid-19 battle expenditure.
On students and others stranded in Canada, other countries and within the country, the Chief Minister said requests had been received but till travel restrictions were lifted, nothing could be done.
Even the Supreme Court had advised students to stay put where they are, he added.