Punjab extends night curfew till Jan 1


Chandigarh: Amid complaints of mass violations of Covid curbs at weddings and parties, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered the restriction of 100 on indoor and 250 on outdoor gatherings in the state, with the extension of night curfew in all cities and towns till January 1, 2021, said a press release.

Taking cognizance of the high case fatality rate in the state, the Punjab Chief Minister extended curfew restrictions between 10 pm to 5 am till January 1. Earlier, the curfew was imposed from December 1 to December 15.

Directing the Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta, Captain asked for strict enforcement of the restrictions at wedding venues and other places, with penalties to be imposed on the hosts in case of deviance.

Chairing a high-level COVID review meeting, the Captain ordered an end to home quarantine for those above the age of 70 with co-morbidities, unless adequate medical facilities can be made available at home.

He also ordered a thorough check of all private hospitals to ensure that only those with adequate level three infrastructure and manpower be allowed to admit COVID-19 patients.

“Hospitals lacking such facilities should refer patients to other hospitals,” he said.

“Though the declining positivity trend in Punjab over the past three weeks was welcome, the fatality rate remained a matter of concern,” said Captain and asked the Health Department to maintain the 3,0,000 per day RTPCR test, with more smart and targeted sampling to include potential super spreaders.

“Districts must be encouraged to make full use of the ITIHAAS portal to identify possible hotspots and concentrate their sampling there,” he said.

The Chief Minister urged the Health Department to monitor the health of the farmers who are returning from Delhi.

State Health Secretary Hussan Lal disclosed that so far, close to 35 lakh samples had been tested in the state, Out of which 1.5 lakhs were found positive.

“Though the second wave in Punjab had so far been mild, the health authorities were fully geared to tackle any eventuality,” he said.

He noted that 87 per cent of the deaths had been over the age of 45, with about 50 per cent of the deaths taking place at private tertiary care centres. (ANI)