Punjab opens colleges, cinema halls, malls to those who got at least 1 dose of Covid vaccine

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Chandigarh, July 9 (PTI) The Punjab government on Friday lifted weekend and night curfews and allowed reopening of colleges, cinema halls, malls, restaurants, bars and gyms to those who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Also, gathering of 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors have been allowed in the state in view of the improving COVID-19 situation as the case positivity rate dipped to 0.4 per cent.

Schools, however, will continue to remain closed.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed the state police to issue challans to political leaders if they are found violating Covid protocols while holding rallies and protests.

According to an official statement, colleges, coaching centres and all institutes of higher learning shall be allowed to open by deputy commissioners subject to submission of a certificate that the teaching, non-teaching staff members and students have got at least one dose of vaccine at least two weeks ago.

Cinema halls, malls, restaurants, bars, spas, swimming pools, sports complexes gyms, museums and zoos have also been allowed to reopen with a condition that all staff members and eligible visitors have got at least one shot of the anti-Covid vaccine, it said.

Punjab had imposed curfew from 8 pm to 5 am daily and weekend curfew from 8 pm on Saturday up to 5 am on Monday, across the state.

Reviewing the Covid situation, the chief minister said the situation will again be reviewed on July 20. Use of masks must be ensured at all times, he said while announcing the easing of restrictions.

State Health Secretary Hussan Lal said four districts had shown positivity of one per cent or less than that. However, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Ferozpur and Roop Nagar districts still need vaccination, he said.

Referring to the cases of black fungus, which has been reported in 623 patients as of July 8, the chief minister asked the health department to work out a proposal for supporting and helping in the treatment of such patients.

Of the 623 black fungus cases, 67 were from outside the state, 337 were under treatment and 154 have been discharged while 51 patients have died, the health secretary informed the meeting.

The chief minister noted that due to the standard operating procedure in place for Covid and post-Covid care, Punjab has had much fewer cases of black fungus and deaths than most other states, including Haryana, and Delhi.

While Punjab has so far reported 623 cases and 51 deaths due to black fungus, both Haryana and Delhi have seen over 1,600 cases each, with 193 and 236 deaths respectively. PTI CHS VSD NSD NSD

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