Chandigarh, December 11
Amid complaints of mass violations of COVID-19 curbs at weddings and parties, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered restriction of 100 people in indoor and 250 in outdoor gatherings, with extension of night curfew in all cities and towns till January 1.
He also directed Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta to strictly enforce the restrictions at marriage palaces and other places, with penalties to be imposed on the hosts in case of any deviance.
Taking cognisance of the high case fatality rate in the state, he also extended curfew restrictions (10 pm to 5 am) till January 1.
Chairing a high-level review meeting, the chief minister also ordered an end to home quarantine for those above the age of 70 with co-morbidities, unless adequate medical facilities can be made available at home.
Health Secretary Hussan Lal pointed out during the virtual meeting that a large number of coronavirus deaths were also being reported from home isolation cases.
To further check fatality, the chief minister also ordered a thorough check of all private hospitals to ensure that only those with adequate Level III infrastructure and manpower be allowed to admit COVID-19 patients.
Hospitals lacking such facilities should refer patients to other hospitals, he said.
Though the declining positivity trend in Punjab over the past three weeks was welcome, the fatality rate remained a matter of concern, said Amarinder Singh, directing the DGP to ensure strict compliance to safety protocols, including wearing of masks and social distancing.
He also asked the Health Department to maintain the 30,000 per day RT-PCR sampling and testing limit, with more smart and targeted sampling to include potential super spreaders.
The chief minister also asked the Health Department to monitor the health of the farmers who are returning from Delhi in view of the risk to them due to the high case load there.
The health secretary said so far close to 35 lakh samples had been tested in the state, of which 1.5 lakh were found positive.
Though the second wave in Punjab had so far been mild, the health authorities were fully geared to tackle any eventuality, he said.
He noted that 87 per cent of the deaths had been over the age of 45, with about 50 per cent of the deaths taking place at private tertiary care centres. — IANS