Thursday, January 20, 2022

Punjab CM extends covid curbs till Sept 30 during festive season

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered extension of the existing Covid restrictions till September 30, in view of the upcoming festival season, with a limit of 300 on all gatherings, including political, and strict enforcement of wearing of masks as well as social distancing.

He also made it mandatory for organisers, including political parties, to ensure that participants, management and staff at food stalls etc in festival related events are fully vaccinated, or at least have had a single dose.

Calling for continued vigil in the light of the festivals, the Chief Minister urged all political parties to lead by example, while directing the DGP to ensure compliance of restrictions by all. DGP Dinkar Gupta said with case load decreasing, people had started being lax on the masks front, which the Health Department should strictly enforce with the help of the police. Captain Amarinder also directed Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to make joint administration-police flying squads in each district to ensure compliance at restaurants, marriage palaces etc.

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Chairing a virtual high-level Covid review meeting, the Chief Minister also directed the Department of Social Security to prepare to open Anganwari Centres within this month, making Punjab the first state to do so. The opening of these centres will be subject to vaccination of staff and other guidelines to be worked out jointly with the Health Department.

The Chief Minister also ordered increase in testing from the current 45,000/day to at least 50,000/day as part of the preparations for the  possible third wave. Along with sentinel testing, outreach camps and testing should be taken up, especially where public gathering is expected to take place on account of the festival season, he directed, adding that all infrastructure augmentation works should also should be expedited and completed.

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Pointing out that the GIS based surveillance and prevention tool with an auto trigger mechanism for localised restrictions was now live in all Districts, Captain Amarinder further directed the Health Department to take micro-containment measures using these tools for areas/localities where cases are more than five.

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