USISPF Briefing: Additional Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Government of Punjab
On April 8, 2020, Vini Mahajan, the Additional Chief Secretary of the Government of Punjab’s Department of Housing & Urban Development, joined USISPF members on a webinar to provide updates on the Government of Punjab’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary Mahajan highlighted Punjab’s success in increasing the testing capacity of medical centers in the state, and the quick response of the state’s textile and manufacturing industries to the growing need for personal protective equipment (PPEs), respirators, and ventilators. She also highlighted the state’s COVA app, which provides citizens with authentic and up-to-date information on COVID-19, helps state authorities track quarantine cases, and can even be used to order groceries or apply for curfew passes.
On the possibility of an extended national lockdown, Secretary Mahajan said that essential-industry exemptions are likely to roll over without companies having to re-apply. She also emphasized that the Government of Punjab has been working to help the laborers most impacted by the lockdown and is currently considering some relaxations in light of the upcoming wheat harvest.