With Punjab witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases, the state government on Monday put a complete bar on all public gatherings, while restricting social gatherings to five and marriages, social functions to 30 instead of the current 50.

An official spokesperson said mandatory FIRs will be filed against those found violating the curb on public gatherings, which now stand strictly disallowed.
A detailed notification issued by the government says joint teams of police and civil administration will strictly enforce the restrictions on social gatherings (restricted to 5 under section 144 imposed in all districts) as well as weddings and social functions.

The management of marriage palaces or hotels will be held responsible and face suspension of licence in case of violation of norms, the spokesperson said.

The state government has also partnered with IIT Chennai experts to intensify surveillance, using technology in order to identify super-spreader gatherings in the past that have resulted in spread, to guide future action.

Wearing masks has been made compulsory in work places, offices, closed places, as per the new guidelines, which also directs strict enforcement of the health department advisory on air conditioning and ventilation. Public dealing in offices may be curtailed to cater to need based and urgent issues, according to the guidelines, which provide that the online public grievance redressal system recently approved by the cabinet should be extensively popularized and used, the new guidelines said.

This month Punjab has witnessed a spike in Coronavirus cases with a total of 357 Covid-19 positive cases and five deaths on Monday, taking the state tally to 8,178.

Patiala reported the maximum number of cases at 68 followed by Ludhaian (65), Jalandhar (53), SAS Nagar (26), Amritsar (25) and FG Sahib (20). Till Monday, the state has 2,888 active cases while 5,586 patients have been cured and discharged from various hospitals in the state.

Of the 8. 178 cases, the maximum number of cases have been reported from Ludhiana (1,441) followed by Jalandhar (1,276), Amritsar (1,087), Sangrur (647), Patiala (672), SAS Nager (417), Gurdaspur (289), Pathankot (255), Tarn Taran (217), Hoshiarpur (201), SBS Nagar (224), Ferozepur (165), Faridkot (157), Muktsar (153), Fatehgarh Sahib (166), Moga (151), Bathinda (150), Kapurthala (131), Ropar (132), Fazilka (108), Barnala (76) and Mansa (63). Meanwhile, with five more deaths reported, the death toll in the state has climbed to 199.