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Punjab corona curbs extended till June 15, but graded relaxations from June 8

A file photo of Punjab Chief Minsiter Amarinder Singh. Photo: @capt_amarinder/Twiter

Chandigarh, June 7 (MNN) With coronavirus case positivity rate declining to 3.2 and active cases coming down in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered the extension of restrictions imposed in the northern state amid the second wave of the pandemic till June 15, but with certain relaxations.

Shops would now be allowed to open till 6 pm while private offices can function at 50 per cent of their staff strength.

Night curfew will remain in force from 7 pm to 6 am from Mondays till Saturdays, and weekend curfew on Sundays.

Gatherings up to 20 people would be allowed at weddings and cremations. Entry restrictions (negative Covid test/vaccination) for arrivals in the state have also been done away with.

Recruitment exams will be allowed to be held, subject to adherence to social distancing and other appropriate norms, though online mode should be preferred.

Sports training for national and international events has also been permitted and the Sports Department asked to issue necessary instructions and guidelines which shall strictly be adhered to.

Reviewing the Covid situation virtually, with ministers, senior police and administrative officials and health experts, the Chief Minister said district administrations may decide on opening of non-essential shops, including on weekends, on the basis of local situations while ensuring that crowding was avoided.

Attendance in government offices can be decided by the heads of the concerned office, but co-morbid/disabled employees at risk may be exempted from physical presence.

Further relaxations will be allowed in the coming weeks depending on the corona cases.

Gyms and restaurants could be opened after a week with 50 per cent capacity and other conditions as per the expert advice in case the situation improved further.

Owners and workers of gyms and restaurants should get themselves vaccinated prior to the reopening, he added.

The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the progress of the ‘Corona Mukt Pendu Abhiyan’ in Punjab villages, where almost 1.5 crore individuals (37 lakh households) have already been screened.

These efforts, he said, had resulted in identification of 5,889 positive patients who have been assisted as per the protocols.

The week on week positivity rate has also reduced from 9 to 3, he added.

The Chief Minister said there are 381 cases of mucormycosis or black fungus in the state, of which 38 have been cured while 265 are undergoing treatment.

There is adequate supply of drugs for their treatment, he assured and addedg that his government would continue to augment medicine supplies and ensure that there was no shortage of any essential drug in the state.

Punjab’s Covid Expert Group head Dr KK Talwar said that almost 30 per cent corona patients reported post-Covid complications and continued to be symptomatic. Patients are taking almost three months to get back to normal, and thus need to be strictly monitored, he added.

Meanwhile, he announced that students wishing to go abroad for studies will now get priority during vaccination of the 18-45 age group.

He directed the Health and Medical Education Departments to allow districts to use up to 10 per cent of the doses for the 18-45 age group for priority categories, other than those approved at the state level. Besides such students, caregivers of elderly persons and other urgent priority groups may also be included in this list, he added.

The state had initially prioritised vaccination of construction labourer, co-morbid individuals and families of healthcare workers in the 18-45 age group. Already, over 4.3 lakh individuals in these categories have been vaccinated.

The list was subsequently expanded to include shopkeepers and their staff, staff working in hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, marriage palaces, caterers), industrial workers, street vendors like those serving food items, delivery boys, LPG distribution staff, bus drivers and conductors, auto and cab drivers, and local body representatives.

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