Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh orders extension of COVID-19 curbs till April 10

Expressing grave concern over the situation, Capt Amarinder Singh asked the Chief Secretary to issue directions for carrying out testing and vaccination in busy markets besides other crowded places

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh (IANS Photo)
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh (IANS Photo)

Bipin Bhardwaj

In view of the rising Covid cases and deaths in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered extension of curbs till April 10 and directed the Health Department to increase the number of vaccination sites to target the priority categories on urgent basis.

Reviewing the Covid situation in the state in a meeting, the Chief Minister said all restrictions that were in place till March 31 will now remain in force till April 10, after which they would be again reviewed.

He also ordered the launch of a vaccination drive in the state’s prisons in the wake of 40 women in Patiala’s Nabha Open Jail testing positive for Coronavirus.

Expressing grave concern over the situation, Capt Amarinder Singh asked the Chief Secretary to issue the necessary directions for carrying out testing and vaccination in busy market areas along with other crowded places. He asked all DCs and Civil Surgeons to identify places where mobile Covid Vaccination Centres can be created, such as Police Lines, colleges and universities, bigger industrial units, bus stands and railway stations, PRTC/ Punjab Roadways bus depots, market places etc to ramp up vaccination.

All eligible govt employees, and other categories which he had requested for inclusion in vaccine coverage (such as judges, teachers etc), should be facilitated in getting vaccination to the extent of being eligible on account of being over 45 years of age, said the Chief Minister.

He directed pooling of resources available in districts with high number of cases for effective management of the pandemic and uptake of the vaccination.

The latest data shows the UK strain of the virus to be the most prevalent in the state. While 326 of the 401 Covid positive samples sent initially to NCDC for genome sequencing were found positive for the UK variant, subsequently, of the 95 samples sent to IGIB for genome sequencing, 85 samples were found to be positive for the same.

Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare (PSHFW) shared the updated status of Covid pandemic and the status of vaccination of the eligible categories of beneficiaries. The meeting was informed that the positive cases and deaths were rising rapidly in some of the districts, with projections presented by CMC Ludhiana showing steep rise in the number of cases and peak around April 6.

The number would be decreasing by mid or late May, 2021, as per the estimates, which suggest that Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala are expected to contribute more cases and positivity is likely to be high in the younger population of 40 years of age or less.

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