Amid the grim Covid- 19 situation in DelhiNCR and apprehensions of a second coronavirus wave in Punjab, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a series of fresh restrictions in the state, which includes reimposition of night curfew in all towns and cities from 1 December.
The curbs, which will be reviewed on 15 December, also restrict opening timings of all hotels, restaurants and marriage palaces in the state till 9.30 pm.
Night curfew will remain in force between 10 pm and 5 am, the Punjab CM announced warning people against letting their guard down under any circumstances.
Giving details of the new restrictions after a high-level state Covid review meeting, an official spokesperson said the fine for not following Covid appropriate behaviour will be hiked from the present Rs 500 to Rs 1000.
Given the inflow of patients from Delhi for treatment in Punjab, it has also been decided to review and optimise the beds availability in the state’s private hospitals.
The CM has also directed the health and medical education departments to make emergency appointments of specialists, super-specialists, nurses and paramedics, to further augment the capacity of healthcare workers, which was recently beefed up with the recruitment of 249 specialist doctors and 407 medical officers.
The departments have also been asked to consider preparing 4th and 5th year MBBS students as reserve and back-up healthcare personnel if needed in the coming days.
On the coronavirus testing front, Capt Amarinder stressed the need to fully utilise the 25,500 daily RT-PCR testing capacity, and directed targeted and regular testing of potential super-spreaders including government officials.
To ensure that there are no Covid deaths under home isolation in Punjab, the CM said the agency hired to look into these cases should keep close tabs on such patients.
While the Covid mortality audit was continuing, it was a matter of “satisfaction” that the department was now collecting reasons for placing patients on ventilator by private hospitals, and there was a referral group available to monitor these patients, he added.