Punjab extends Covid restrictions till May 31

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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

With Punjab continuing to report high Covid positivity, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday ordered extension of all the existing restrictions up to May 31, with directions for strict enforcement of all curbs.

The Deputy Commissioners will continue to determine opening of shops in a staggered manner and enforce other restrictions to check spread of Covid, especially in rural areas, Amarinder Singh said, adding that they can also make suitable amendments based on local condition as long as these do not dilute the state’s overall restrictions.

The district authorities shall continue to ensure strict implementation of all directives on Covid appropriate behaviour, including social distancing norms, regulating crowds in market places and public transport, and imposition of penalties prescribed for violation of norms and restrictions.

Reviewing the state’s Covid situation at a high-level meeting, the Chief Minister said while the restrictions so far had shown results, with some decline in day-on-day positivity and cases coming down from around 9,000 to 6,000 in this period, there was need to extend the same in view of the high positivity of 13.1 per cent as of the May 9-15 period, with CFR standing at 2.4.

He also directed the district administrations to investigate complaints of fleecing of patients by some private hospitals, warning that these would be shut down if they continue to indulge in such practices.

Such cases have to be strictly dealt with, he said, directing the police to crack down on those found indulging in hoarding or black-marketing of any Covid-related essentials or medicines.

The Chief Minister also expressed concern over the spread of the new fungal disorder associated with Covid.

He stressed the need to increase surveillance for this disease as, if it is not treated early, it can cause severe complications.

He also directed the Health Department to ensure that medicines to treat this disease are available with the state.

On the availability of oxygen, the Chief Minister said that while the state, through judicious measures, had been able to prevent any mishap, the situation should be closely monitoring by the Health Department.

The state was expecting over 2,500 oxygen concentrators on the ground within this month, he said, directing the department to ensure the best use of the same.

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