Punjab extends COVID curbs till May 31

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (File photo)
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (File photo)

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], May 16 (ANI): Owing to the upsurge of cases in Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered an extension of all existing COVID-restrictions till May 31, with directions for strict enforcement.

The Chief Minister said that the Deputy commissioners will continue to determine the opening of shops in a staggered manner and will enforce other restrictions to check the spread of COVID, especially in rural areas. He also gave them the right to make suitable amendments based on their local conditions, as long as these do not dilute the state's overall restrictions.

The district authorities have been ordered to continue to ensure strict implementation of all the directives of the MHA/state government on COVID appropriate behaviour, including social distancing norms, regulating crowds in marketplaces and public transport, and imposition of penalties prescribed for violation of norms and restrictions.

Reviewing the COVID situation of the state, the Chief Minister, at a high-level meeting, said, "While the restrictions so far have shown results, with some decline in the day on day positivity and cases coming down from around 9000 to 6000 in this period, there was a need to extend the same in view of the high positivity rate of 13.1 per cent as of the May 9-15 period, with CFR standing at 2.4".

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

The Chief Minister said, "such cases have to be strictly dealt with," while directing the police department to crack down on those found indulging in hoarding or black marketing of any COVID-related essentials or medicines.

He also expressed his concern over the spread of the new fungal disorder associated with COVID. The health department was directed 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 monitored by the health department. "The state government had successfully arranged for PSA plants, oxygen concentrators, etc which will further help tackle oxygen shortages," he added.

He further directed the Health and Medical Education departments to continue to ensure that there is no problem at any point with respect to hospital capacity, especially with regard to L-3 beds.

All the DCs have been asked to ensure that food kits are delivered to those in quarantine, reiterating that nobody should be allowed to go to sleep hungry, the Chief Minister said. (ANI)

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