Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered to extend Covid-induced restrictions in the state till June 15 with certain relaxations, including opening of shops till 6 pm and private offices to function at 50 per cent strength, to kick-start the economy.
Night curfew will remain in force from 7 pm to 6 am on weekdays, including Saturdays, but regular weekend curfew will continue on Sundays, he announced.
- Gatherings up to 20 people, including weddings and cremations, allowed.
- Entry restrictions (negative Covid-19 test/vaccination) for arrivals in the state have also been done away with.
- Recruitment exams will be allowed to be held subject to adherence to social distancing and other Covid-19 appropriate norms. Online mode should be preferred.
- Sports training for national and international events has also been permitted and the Department of Sports and Youth affairs has been asked to issue the necessary instructions and guidelines, which shall have to be strictly adhered to.
- In government offices, attendance can be decided by the head of the concerned office but co-morbid/disabled employees at risk may be exempted.
While reviewing the Covid-19 situation virtually with ministers, police and others, the Chief Minister said district administration may determine opening of non-essential shops, including on weekend, on the basis of local situation, while ensuring that crowding leading to spread of Covid-19 are avoided.
Further relaxations will be allowed in the coming weeks depending on the outcomes, if the cases continue to decline, he said, adding that Gyms and Restaurants could be opened after a week with 50 per cent, and other conditions as per expert advice, if the situation improves further. Owners and workers of the gyms and restaurants should get themselves vaccinated prior to the reopening, he further said.
Asserting that Punjab could not afford to let its guard down despite the decline in Covid-19 case load and increasing in testing, he said the coronavirus mutations were a matter of concern, even though the CFR was lower than the first wave.
Speaking on the spread of black fungus (mucormycosis), he said there are currently 381 such cases in the state, of which 38 have already been cured and 265 are undergoing treatment. “There is an adequate supply of drugs for treatment and the government would continue to augment the supplies and ensure that there is no shortage of any essential drug in the state," an official statement quoted him as saying.
Punjab on Sunday reported 65 more deaths due to Covid-19 after which the toll reached 15,076 in the state. With 1,593 fresh infections, the tally jumped to 5,79,560. The number of active cases dropped to 22,160 from 24,454 on Saturday, according to a medical bulletin.
(with inputs from Swati Bhan)