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Covid spike: Curbs back on gatherings in Punjab

Amid growing concern over the rising Covid cases in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered restrictions on indoor gatherings to 100 and outdoor to 200 persons from March 1 along with strict enforcement of mask/social distancing, etc, and testing to be ramped to 30,000 a day.

Chairing a high-level virtual meeting to review the situation, the Chief Minister also authorised the DCs to impose night curfew in hotspots in their districts. He directed the police force to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of masks, along with notification of Covid monitors by all restaurants and marriage palaces, with the Department of Excise and Taxation being the nodal agency for it.

The Chief Minister said a decision on reducing occupancy in cinema halls would be taken after March 1. Private offices and restaurants would be encouraged to display last tests done for all employees, he added.

While directing increased testing, Captain Amarinder ordered mandatory testing of 15 contacts per positive with monitoring to be done by Covid patient tracking officers and review to be undertaken by the Health Department.

The Chief Minister also took stock of the vaccination status, underlining the need to carry out an information, education and communication campaign to promote 100 per cent coverage of healthcare and frontline workers.

Schools to remain open: Chief Secy

Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan ruled out re-closure of government schools and said the department was taking all steps to ensure the safety of students. Education Secretary Krishan Kumar said teachers had been designated nodal officers in schools to instruct students on the proper use of masks and adherence to Covid norms

High death rate cause of worry

  • There is concern over 3.23 case fatality rate (CFR)
  • Many of the deaths are happening within 2-14 days of hospitalisation
  • Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, SAS Nagar and SBS Nagar have shown a spike in positivity rate in recent days
  • At the current rate, the positivity could go up to 4 per cent in two weeks, translating into 800 cases per day
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