Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minsiter Amarinder Singh on Friday said that he would lift the partial lockdown only for farmers from April 15 in his state. However, he asserted that a mechanism for the same would be put in place to ensure that social distancing and other protocols are followed. Also Read - Diljit Dosanjh Turns Chef in COVID-19 Quarantine, Punjabi Sensation's Culinary Skills Leave Twitterati in Splits

“We are lifting (the harvest) for farmers district-wise and village-wise so that there is no rush at the purchasing place,” the Chief Minister said while addressing a press conference conducted by AICC. Also Read - 69-year-old Woman Dies of Coronavirus in Punjab, Death Toll in State Climbs to 6

“The task is huge as the state is expecting a bumper harvest. Around 75 per cent of it is expected to come into the market for smooth procurement,” said the Chief Minister, adding he has taken up manufacturing of jute bags with West Bengal for storage of the food grain. Also Read - Nabha Sanitation Workers Get Flower Garlands, Shower of Rose Petals by Citizens, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Shares Heart-Warming Video

Amarinder Singh also said the emergency fund given by the Centre was too less to fight a Pandemic. “Feeding people and ensuring medical supplies are the most crucial aspects”.

He stressed the need for the Centre to come forward with financial assistance for combatting the COVID-19 crisis, saying it was the responsibility of the government of India as states had to ensure food, free rations, shelter, etc. for the poor people.

He said due to scarcity of testing kits, only 2,877 tests have so far been conducted. “The government is acquiring more testing kits for second testing”.

The state has quarantined about 14,000 people who returned from abroad and most of them have completed their quarantine period, he added.

(With inputs)