Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday appealed to thousands of farmers, who have been protesting against the Centre’s three new farm laws for nearly five months at the Delhi borders, to postpone the protest due to the sudden rise in coronavirus cases.

Expressing concern about their health and well-being, he said due to increasing number of cases in the country and the state, we have to take strict precautions.

“Last year, economic activity had stalled due to the lockdown, which took about six months to get back on track. Therefore, we have to keep in mind that the economic cycle should continue in the state and that no one is adversely affected as well.”

Presiding over a meeting to review Covid-19 cases and its vaccination, the Chief Minister said it was the constitutional right of every person to protest.

“We have no problem with those who protest. However, at this time due to Covid-19 life may be put in danger. This is not the right time to protest.”

The Chief Minister appealed to the farmers that they should withdraw their movement on humanitarian grounds.

“If they have to hold a protest for any of their demands, they can do it when the situation improves.”

He directed the Deputy Commissioners to contact the agitating farmers and try to persuade them.

Singh said this time the spread of virus has started from educational institutions.

“There is a need to be more vigilant, especially in educational institutes. We also need to reduce crowding in public gatherings. Therefore, it has been decided that from now not more than 200 people can gather in open spaces during public functions and not more than 50 in indoor functions. Similarly, no more than 20 people will be able to attend funerals.”

Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said there are two ways to contain the virus.

“The first method is lockdown and the second is strictness. We want the situation to be dealt with strictness instead of imposing lockdown in the state.”

“This time about 5,500 cases are reported on a single day. So we have to create containment and micro-containment zones,” he said.

–IANS

vg/sdr/bg