A day after his cabinet colleague Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa tested positive for Covid, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday urged all ministers, as well as MLAs and department secretaries, to get themselves tested for the Coronavirus.
The CM also underwent the test and was found to be negative, an official spokesperson said. Two other ministers, Sukhjinder Randhawa and Aruna Chowdhary, had also got themselves tested today, while some had undergone the test yesterday. Two Congress legislators also went in for testing today. Their results are awaited.
During the Cabinet meeting, Amarinder said all the ministers and officials in various departments, especially who might have come in contact with the Indian Administration Service and Punjab Civil Service officers who had been infected with the Coronavirus, should get themselves tested.
Bajwa was doing well, he informed the meeting, reiterating the need for extreme caution by all the ministers and others engaged in any kind of public dealing. Captain Amarinder has, in fact, been calling upon all the people of Punjab to go for testing at the first sign of symptom or suspicion of Covid infection. Early detection is the way to beat the disease and check fatalities, he has stressed.
Meanwhile, the CM on Wednesday appealed to the various famers’ unions in the state to postpone their planned protests against the anti-farmer Ordinances of the Central government in view of the restrictions in place to check the spread of Covid.
Reacting to reports that several farmers’ unions had announced their decision to go ahead with the protests despite the imposition of curbs on gatherings, the CM urged them not to take a confrontationist approach in the matter in the current circumstances, given that Section 144 was in place and all gatherings were barred in the state.
Though the issue of the farm ordinances was vital to the state’s interests, any physical protests at the moment would harm Punjab, he pointed out, advising the unions to use the social media to express their anger and garner support against the Ordinances, which were also against the federal character of the nation.
The state government on Monday put a complete bar on all public gatherings, while restricting social gatherings to five and marriages, social functions to 30 instead of the current 50.