The first day of the week-long lockdown in Haryana received a mixed response in the northern districts, where the police struggled to keep people off the roads and markets while routine traffic continued on highways and link roads.
“We have deputed all senior cops to monitor the situation and violators are being challaned (fined) for coming out without permission,” said Karnal superintendent of police (SP) Ganga Ram Punia. He said police check posts were erected to enforce the lockdown and violators were being booked.
Highway and city roads were also busy in Kurukshetra and Panipat.
“People are not following the guidelines and coming out without any valid reason,” said a cop deputed on the NH44.
The Haryana government announced a week-long state-wide lockdown beginning 5 am on Monday till May 10 to curb an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases during the second wave of the disease in the state. On Sunday, the state recorded 145 deaths due to the infection—the most in a 24 hour period. It also reported 13,322 new infections, taking the case tally to 514,888. The lockdown came a day before a weekend curfew imposed in the nine worst-affected districts of Panchkula, Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonepat, Rohtak, Karnal, Hisar, Sirsa and Fatehabad districts, was set to end at 5am on Monday.
The state government guidelines said that vaccination centres, banks and essential services will remain functional during the lockdown along with all health services, including hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. Bank branches and ATMs, IT vendors for banking operations will also remain functional. Bank branches will be allowed to work as per banking hours during the lockdown.
The entire supply chain of essential goods is allowed to function including manufacturing, transport, wholesale or retail sale through local stores. E-commerce companies are allowed to operate, ensuring strict social distancing norms. All goods traffic will be allowed to ply.
The guidelines added that buses for public transport with 50% capacity, taxi and cab aggregators with a maximum of three passengers in addition to the driver and metro rail will also be allowed to ply. Also, passenger movement by trains will be allowed.