Citing the state’s rising cases of coronavirus, which have gone up to 24891 with 604 deaths, the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has urged the Prime Minister to review the UGC decision on mandatory exams for exit classes to be held by September 30.
Punjab may not be in a position to conduct exams in September as it may be facing its peak at that time, he said. Captain Amarinder Singh also suggested promoting these students promoted on past performance and internal assessment, with the option to take exams later for those wanting to improve their performance.
He also sought central government assistance for online school education, especially for poor children of Classes X and XII. More money was needed for creating the infrastructure needed to support online education, he added.
Though Punjab was conducting 23,000 tests per million for COVID (higher than the national average) and planned to increase RT-PCR tests from 12000 to 20000 in the next 15 days, it needed to scale up the testing capacity further, the Chief Minister stressed. He requested the Prime Minister to direct the Government of India institutions in Chandigarh and Punjab to increase testing capacity, as already written to him earlier.
Expressing concern over the state’s mortality rate of 2.4%, Captain Amarinder said though it was lower than the all India deaths per million and 91% of the fatality cases were with co-morbidity, it was still higher than neighbouring Haryana. Patients were coming to hospitals late and 86% of deaths were occurring in tertiary hospitals, he added.
Giving an update on the COVID situation in the state, Captain Amarinder Singh said it had seen cases go up from 500 to 1000 in 2 weeks, with the positivity rate of the last 5 days at 8.73%. The majority of cases were coming from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, and Patiala cities, though cases were increasing in all districts, he added. The number of micro-containment zones were being increased in high incidence districts like Ludhiana, Patiala and Jalandhar, he said.