CM orders night curfew in Punjab from Dec 1, other restrictions

Chandigarh, Nov 25 : Amid apprehensions of a second wave of coronavirus infections in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a slew of new restrictions, including re-imposition of night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am in all cities and towns from December 1.

The fine for not wearing masks or following social distancing norms will now attract a fine of Rs 1,000.

As per the fresh restrictions imposed in the state, which will be reviewed on December 15, all hotels, restaurants and marriage palaces can now remain open till 9.30 pm only.

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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 manpower, which was recently strengthened with the recruitment of 249 specialist doctors and 407 medical officers.

Amarinder Singh also warned people in Punjab against letting their guard down under the given circumstances.

Giving details of the new restrictions after a high-level COVID-19 review meeting, an official spokesperson said the fine for not following COVID protocol has been doubled from the present Rs 500.

Given the influx of patients from Delhi in Punjab for treatment, it has also been decided to review and optimise the availability of beds in the state’s private hospitals.

The Chief Minister has asked Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to work with the departments concerned to encourage more private hospitals to come on board and earmark beds for coronavirus patients’ care.

To further strengthen the availability of oxygen and ICU beds, Amarinder Singh has ordered that management practices in GMCHs and Civil Hospitals be examined in the light of the recommendations of an experts group, he said.

The two departments have also been asked to consider preparing fourth and fifth year MBBS students as reserve and back-up for COVID-19 care, in case needed in the future.

The Chief Minister also stressed the need to fully utilise the 25,500 RT-PCR daily testing capacity, and directed targeted and regular testing of potential super spreaders, including government officials.

The 24×7 testing facility should be made available at district hospitals and other convenient locations for easy public access, 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.

To ensure that no deaths take place in home isolation, Amarinder Singh said the agency hired to look into these cases should keep close tabs on such patients.

While mortality audit was going on, it was a matter of satisfaction that the department was now collecting information on reasons for placing patients on ventilators by private hospitals, and there was a referral group available to monitor these patients, he added.

Referring to the reports on corona vaccine, the Chief Minister said that while he was happy to note that the data base for healthcare workers was ready, the departments concerned should also look at other categories of frontline workers who could be prioritised for innoculation.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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