Punjab will allow district-wise relief from lockdown only to farmers temporarily to let them harvest Rabi crop, said Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday as the state is expecting a bumper wheat crop of around 185 lakh tonnes, the necessary arrangements are to be made.

CM Singh while addressing a press conference through video conference said, “We are now faced with harvesting (season). Until April 14 there is a lockdown and from April 15 the harvesting of wheat will start. We are getting a bumper harvest, the fourth year in a row,” adding that a decision on whether Punjab will extend the lockdown will be taken at a meeting of the state cabinet later this evening.

Though, he indicated that the ongoing lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus should continue, while noting that predictions by health experts about the spread of the pandemic are “horrendous and frightening”.

The Congress leader said, “Prediction by experts about spread of the virus are horrendous and frightening.  The government is preparing itself and gearing up for such a situation.”

Quoting a PGIMER study, he said the virus is likely to touch its peak by mid-September and may likely to affect 58 per cent of India’s population and 87 per cent of Punjab’s and other states’ population.

“….COVID19 epidemic in India is estimated to reach its peak in mid-September 2020 at a point where 58 per cent of population has been infected,” he said quoting the projections made by the Department of Community Medicine in PGIMER in Chandigarh.

While pointing towards the projections by PGI, he said the virus can infect up to 87 per cent of population of Punjab and other states.

“It has taken us time but at the moment, things are under control. As far as testing is concerned, as of today, we have 132 confirmed cases in the state out of which 11 people have died. We have collected 2877 samples so far,” the Chief Minister said.

Amarinder Singh revealed that there are 27 positive cases from among the 651 Tablighi Jamat congregation attendees, who came to Punjab. Around 636 people have been traced so far.

Punjab so far has 101 coronavirus positive cases, and 8 fatalities, according to Health Ministry data.