· ANNOUNCES COVID MONITORS FOR MARRIAGE PALACES/ RESTAURANTS/ OFFICES & FRONTLINE DUTY FOR CORONA CONQUERORS
· AFTER GETTING TESTED AGAIN, APPEALS TO ALL RELIGIOUS & POLITICAL LEADERS TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE AMID COVID STIGMA
CHANDIGARH: As Covid cases continued to spike amid fears of the peak hitting the state in the next few weeks, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday announced extension of the night curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 pm to all cities, along with a slew of other measures to control the spread of the pandemic.
The night-time curfew will now be applicable to all cities, with exemption for industries, said the Chief Minister, while announcing sector-based division of big cities, with a Nodal Officer to be appointed in each for contact tracing to assist the Health teams.
Captain Amarinder also announced weekend (Saturday & Sunday) `Stay at Home’ for avoidance of unnecessary movement and socialising, other than essential services, in Ludhiana, Patiala and Jalandhar for the next fortnight, after which the situation will be reviewed.
In another major decision, it has been decided that every Marriage Palace, Restaurant, Office, where more than 10 people gather, will appoint one Covid Monitor to ensure full compliance of masks, sanitization and social distancing, said the Chief Minister, at his weekly Facebook Live #AskCaptain session. He warned that teams will come and inspect these places, and violators will be penalised.
Further, all persons who have high social contact will be tested within the coming week, and Corona Conquerors (who have recovered) from Health, Police and other Departments will be put on frontline duty, said the Chief Minister.
The directions came amid continuing increase in Covid cases, with the last 7 days reporting an average of 1000 a day. The maximum cases last week came from Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar, Amritsar & Mohali.
The Chief Minister said the increasing mortality due to Covid can be checked of those infected go for early testing and report to hospitals for treatment within 72 hours. Treatment should begin within this period if lives are to be saved, he said, adding that “koyi gal nahin, theek ho jawange” or “Mausam di gal hai” does not work. “Don’t be a doctor yourself, leave it to the doctors to diagnose the problem and suggest the treatment,” he appealed to people.
“There should be no stigma attached to Covid. Don’t feel shy to get yourself tested, there is nothing in it … the world is getting itself tested,” the Chief Minister said, adding that with the addition of four new testing facilities, a total of 13000 tests were being done a day now, and the capacity would touch 20000/day by the end of the month.
Captain Amarinder said he had already directed the Health department to test all persons in micro-containment zones within three days. Expressing concern over the stigma that is continuing to prevent people from going out for testing, he appealed to the heads of all religious and political organisations to lead by example by getting themselves tested. He said he had himself tested again today.
The Chief Minister also reiterated his appeal to recovered Covid patients to donate plasma for helping others at the three plasma banks operational in the state.
Though cases of violation of mandatory wearing of mask had come down to some extent, people need to continue to taking stringent precautions, which is the only cure for the disease, the Chief Minister said. Everyone must wear masks, both indoors and outdoors to prevent catching or giving infection, he said.