IN Punjab, SGPC volunteers to treat COVID-19 patients as state govt proposes to launch home-delivery of essential items

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AS Punjab remains one of worst impacted COVID-19 impacted states in India, The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has offered to treat corona positive patients in all its hospitals. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday expressed his gratitude to the SGPC for volunteering to serve the affected people and opening its inns for lodging attendants of patients. “We together will win this fight against this deadly disease,” the Chief Minister has tweeted. The SGPC directly controls 79 and indirectly controls 87 gurdwaras in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, including the Golden Temple. It runs Sri Guru Ramdas Medical College in Amritsar. IANS reports Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal has also asked his party’s district presidents to help the administration contain COVID-19, reach out to doctors and patients in hospitals to provide masks, ventilators, and medicines and also launch free ‘langars’ or community kitchens for the needy. Meanwhile, instead of allowing relaxation for limited periods at district level during the current curfew in Punjab, the state government is considering making arrangements for home delivery of essential items. A government functionary said there would be no general relaxations in the curfew. As per the new orders, during the period of curfew, door-to-door delivery of essential commodities, such as groceries, milk, fruit, and vegetables, may be ensured through pre-identified hawkers/distributors wherever possible, The Tribune says. The grocery shops, milk vendors, fruit and vegetable shops, and chemists should be permitted to open on rotation in a manner that at any point of time at least one shop each is open in a given area. Such shops should also be allowed to provide door-to-door delivery on call. The shops permitted to open should be kept under supervision of 1-2 policemen to check over-crowding and maintain spatial distancing. District Mandi Officers/Market Committee Secretaries should ensure a system of home delivery of vegetables and groceries, respectively, otherwise people would flock in large numbers when curfew is relaxed and a law-and-order situation may arise. Some bigger malls and businesses can also be engaged for door-to-door delivery. Only in case of an emergency may people be permitted to go on foot for needs such as groceries, milk, fruit and vegetables, and medicines/chemists, or to doctors and nursing homes.

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