Punjab COVID-19: In the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered night curfew in all towns and cities from 10 pm to 5 am. Also, the government has doubled the fine for flouting COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to Rs 1000, with effect from December 1.
The curbs, which will be reviewed on December 15, also restrict opening timings of all hotels, restaurants and marriage palaces till 9.30 pm. Night curfew in Punjab will remain in force from 10 pm and 5 am, announced the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, warning people against letting their guard down under any circumstances.
Giving details of the new restrictions after a high-level state Covid review meeting, an official spokesperson said fine for now following Covid appropriate behaviour shall be hiked from the present Rs 500 to Rs 1000.
Given the in-flow of patients from Delhi for treatment in Punjab, it has also been decided to review and optimise the bed’s availability in the state’s private hospitals. The Chief Minister has asked Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to work with the concerned departments to encourage more private hospitals to come on board and earmark beds for Covid care.
To further strengthen the availability of oxygen and ICU beds, Captain Amarinder has ordered the strengthening of the L II and L III, with constant monitoring of districts that are not equipped with L III facilities. The management practices in GMCHs and Civil Hospitals should also be examined in light of the recommendations of the report received from the Expert Group, he said.
The Chief Minister has also directed the Health and Medical Education departments to make emergency appointments of specialists, super-specialists, nurses and paramedics, to further augment the manpower which was recently strengthened with the recruitment of 249 specialist doctors and 407 medical officers.
The departments have also been asked to consider preparing 4th and 5th-year MBBS students as reserve and back-up, in case needed in the future.
On the testing front, the Chief Minister stressed the need to fully utilise the 25,500 daily RT-PCR testing capacity and directed targeted and regular testing of potential super spreaders, including Government officials.
The District Hospitals must have 24 x 7 testing available, and the same must also be made available at other convenient locations where people can easily access the same, he said.
While the increase in contract tracing was a positive sign, steps must be taken to ensure that all these contacts are also tested, said the Chief Minister, adding that the Patient Tracking Officers must also be assigned this task.