Amid spike in cases, Punjab orders curbs on indoor, outdoor gatherings


CM authorises Deputy Commissioners to impose night curfew in hot spots in their districts, if needed

Amid concern over the rising COVID-19 trend in the State, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered restrictions on indoor gathering to 100 and outdoor to 200 persons from March 1.

Chairing a high-level virtual meeting to review the situation, the Chief Minister authorised Deputy Commissioners to impose night curfew in hot spots in their districts if needed, with micro containment strategy to be adopted. He directed the police to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of masks, along with notification of COVID-19 monitors by all restaurants, marriage palaces, with the Department of Excise and Taxation to be the nodal agency for the same.

The Chief Minister said a decision on reducing occupancy in cinema halls would be taken after March 1. Private offices and restaurants would be encouraged to display last tests done for all employees, he added.

While directing increased testing, Captain Singh ordered mandatory testing of 15 contacts per positive, with monitoring to be done by CPTOs and review to be undertaken by the Health department.

Expressing concern over the 3.23 case fatality rate (CFR), the Chief Minister took note of the mortality audit findings that many of the deaths were happening within 2-14 days of hospitalisation. He underscored the need for continued supervision of protocols for managing patients with co-morbidities, especially in private facilities. Citing cases of some deaths at home, he directed the Health department to ensure proper monitoring of home isolation cases, especially those with co-morbidities.

In a brief presentation, Health Secretary Hussan Lal told the meeting that Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, SAS Nagar and SBS Nagar districts had shown a spike in positivity in recent days, triggering concerns over a possible fresh wave in the State.

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