- The Indian state of Punjab will go into a harsh coronavirus lockdown.
- A curfew of 18:00 will be imposed on weekdays, and a full lockdown is due on the weekend.
- India has seen skyrocketing reports of coronavirus infections and Covid-19 deaths.
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The government of the state of Punjab has ordered a harsh lockdown as Covid-19 cases surge across India.
The state ordered a 18:00 weekday curfew and a full weekend lockdown, Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh said on Twitter.
Due to continuous & rapid rise of #Covid19 cases in Punjab, Cabinet today has decided to impose daily lockdown from 6 PM to 5 AM and weekend lockdown from Friday 6 PM to Monday 5 AM. Urge you all to stay at home & step out only if absolutely necessary. Seek your full cooperation. pic.twitter.com/gS4TFlw5lZ— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) April 26, 2021
"Urge you all to stay at home & step out only if absolutely necessary. Seek your full cooperation," said Singh.
Citizens would be confined to their homes from 05:00 every morning. The weekend curfew would start at 18:00 on Friday, and lift at 05:00 on Monday.
The state had been using a "smart lockdown" system, with limited geographic effect.
Punjab has an official active caseload of 50,000, well over double its previous reported high. On Monday morning it reported slightly under 7,000 new cases detected, up from less than a tenth that number at the end of February.
Across India, authorities have taken extraordinary measures to keep oxygen flowing to those hospitalised with Covid-19, as rich people flee the country.
A new variant of the coronavirus is thought to be behind the surge, while the national government has been criticised for failing to maintain preventative measures.
(Additional compilation by Business Insider South Africa.)