Chandigarh, April 9 – In wake of COVID-19, the Punjab Government today issued the advisory on Safe Farming Operations (Procurement and Marketing).
Disclosing this here today, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that corona virus survives on environmental surfaces for a varied period of time, it gets easily inactivated by chemical disinfectants. Thus, correct and timely information and knowledge about the corona virus is the key to control the pandemic. He said that it is essential to ensure meticulous compliance of guidelines issued by the State Government to control the spread of the corona virus during wheat procurement and marketing.
Mr. Sidhu said that these guidelines have been issued to ensure the safety of the various stakeholders involved in the operations such as Farmers, Combine operators, Labour, Arhtiyas/Shopkeepers and Transporters. He said that Staff of the Market Committees/State Procurement Agencies, District Administration have also been directed to implement the guidelines in their respective areas.
Health Minister said that farmers should prefer mechanized operations over the manual, wherever feasible. He said that only the essential numbers of persons should accompany the operator while using the machine for harvesting. He said that all machines should be sanitized at the entry point and at regular intervals. He said that it is compulsory that all the persons engaged in the operations should masks up at all times and ensure handwashing with soap at reasonable intervals.
He said that all are encouraged to download “COVA APP” developed by the Government of Punjab for the correct, timely and authentic information and in case someone is diagnosed as COVID-19 with whom one had contact during operations or otherwise, there is no need to panic. He said that one should report to Helpline No. 104 detailing the exact nature of exposure.
He divulged that the combine operator and his workers should always bear in mind that the appropriate social distancing is the key factor during the pandemic. He said that the transporter and his workers shall be advised not to indulge in any handshakes or hugs to greet/see-off each other.
The Market Committees shall ensure maintenance and sanitization of Office Spaces and meticulous compliance of the detailed SOP on preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 should be ensured, he said.