New curbs, night curfew in Punjab from today as Covid-19 cases continue to surge
- The decision to bring in a slew of new rules to help the state curb the rising number of cases was taken by Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh after a meeting with health experts and senior officers on February 23.
People in Punjab will have to follow renewed curbs, including those on indoor and outdoor gatherings, and those in Covid-19 hotspots will witness night curfew from Monday as the government looks to contain the surge in the number of cases of the coronavirus disease in the state. Authorities in the northern state have also limited the number of people allowed to gather indoors to 100 and those gathering outdoors to 200.
The decision to bring in a slew of new rules to help the state curb the rising number of cases was taken by Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh after a meeting with health experts and senior officers on February 23. Singh also empowered deputy commissioners to declare night curfews in areas with a high number of cases. The district of Jalandhar recorded the most number of cases at 108 on Sunday, followed by Kapurthala with 75, Mohali with 67 and Patiala with 64.
The chief minister also directed that wearing of face masks and social distancing norms be strictly enforced and he also directed the police force to ensure strict enforcement of wearing masks. All restaurants and wedding venues will be monitored for adherence to Covid-19 norms and private offices and restaurants will be encouraged to display the last tests done for all employees, he said. The chief minister said a decision on reducing occupancy in cinema halls will be taken after March 1. The chief minister has also ordered daily Covid-19 testing to be ramped up to 30,000 tests a day. PTI had reported that 49,99,390 samples have been collected for testing in the state till February 28.
State nodal officers have been tasked with ensuring safety protocol is maintained in schools. Punjab allowed the reopening of schools for classes 5 and above from January 7 onwards. Primary schools were allowed to resume in-person classes from January 27 onwards.
Punjab continued to witness a rise in the number of cases, and recorded 582 new cases of Covid-19 on Sun, marking a slight decrease from the 595 cases the state had recorded on Saturday. The tally of Covid-19 infections there currently stands at 1,82,176. The state also recorded 7 new fatalities in the last 24 hours.
The state is set to start the next phase of vaccination for those 60 years of age and above and those above 45 and above but with co-morbidities from Monday with the rest of the country. Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told news agency PTI that individuals above 45 claiming comorbidities will need to produce a certificate from registered medical practitioners.