Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced that the curfew imposed in the state to contain the spread of Covid-19 will be extended till May 17. He added that from Thursday, a four-hour daily curfew relaxation will be allowed in areas that are not designated as red zones or containment zones.

Singh’s office said certain shops were allowed to open on a rotational basis from 7 am to 11 am everyday in such areas. In his address to the residents of Punjab, Singh said that the government would review the Covid-19 situation in the state after two weeks and would ease more restrictions if there is an improvement. Singh said that the people had sacrificed a lot amid the lockdown and his government has decided to provide them some relief.

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The Punjab government has also set up a panel of experts headed by noted economist and former deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia to revive the state’s economy. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will guide the panel.

Punjab on Wednesday reported 18 new coronavirus cases from Mohali, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana and Faridkot districts, taking the state’s tally to 360, according to The Tribune. With 67 cases, Mohali is the worst-affected district in the state.

The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 31,332 on Wednesday morning. Of these, 22,629 cases are active, while 7,695 people have recovered. The toll increased to 1,007, with 73 deaths in a single day – India’s highest ever daily rise.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a meeting with chief ministers via a video-conference to discuss the post-lockdown strategy to deal with the coronavirus crisis. The chief ministers of several states had suggested that the nationwide lockdown, which is supposed to last till May 3, be extended for the second time.