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Punjab allows home quarantine for Covid-negative int’l flyers

CM Capt Amarinder asks Congress MLAs to work with Panchayats to identify rumour- mongers and to activate party workers to check the spread of negative propaganda on the Covid pandemic

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Amid easing of restrictions in the midst of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced that those flying in from abroad with Covid-negative certificates issued within 96 hours can now go for home quarantine in the state.

International travellers who get themselves tested on arrival at airports, as part of the Union government’s new directives, can also go home in Punjab for quarantine if found Covid-negative, Capt Amarinder said.

The CM said after the decline in testing due to rumour-mongering and fake propaganda, the number of Covid tests had again touched around 28000 per day in Punjab as the police had cracked down heavily on miscreants spreading misinformation in the state.

Pointing out that 28,688 tests were conducted yesterday, he said the figures would be raised to 30000 soon. The focus of the state government is on saving lives, for which early testing is essential, he added.

The anti-social elements were defaming Punjab, Capt Amarinder said, adding that the claims of organ harvesting of deceased Covid patients were “totally incorrect and illogical”. The CM warned of strict action against such miscreants.

“We have to effectively counter such campaigns,” he told a group of party legislators and ministers during a video conference held for discussing the Covid situation.

Slamming the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its “concerted campaign to spread misinformation” in Punjab on Covid, Capt Amarinder said despite its lower population, Delhi, which is ruled by the AAP, has reported worse data on the pandemic.

“They (AAP) have made it a subject of competition,” he said, adding that this was “shocking”. “Nowhere has such a thing happened, and in fact the Congress has been supporting state governments across the country in their fight against Covid, in sharp contrast to AAP and the Akalis who are trying to derail the Punjab government’s efforts”, he added.

Capt Amarinder asked the MLAs to work with Panchayats to identify the rumour- mongers and to activate party workers to check the spread of negative propaganda on Covid.

The CM expressed concern over the fact that people continued to violate guidelines by not wearing masks and not maintaining social distance even in the seventh month of the pandemic. They are risking not just their own lives but those of their families too, he said, adding that it was the duty of all, not just as politicians but as citizens, to spread the message among the people.

Chief secretary Vini Mahajan said the state was passing through a critical time, necessitating a joint fight by all stakeholders.