Even as Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered restriction on outdoor gatherings in the state, as many as 24.19 per cent of Punjab’s population has been infected by Covid, as per the second Sero-Survey conducted in 12 districts of the state.

Sharing the findings of the survey, conducted among randomly selected districts and population, health secretary Hussan Lal said 4678 participants were interviewed and their blood samples collected.

Of these, 1201 tested IgG reactive, of which only 4.03 per cent were symptomatic and 95.9 per cent were asymptomatic.

Urban areas showed a positive rate of 30.5 per cent, while rural areas reported 21.0 per cent positivity. Ludhiana, with 54.6 per cent total positivity and 71.7 per cent urban positivity was found to be the worst hit, followed by Ferozepur, Jalandhar and SAS Nagar (Mohali). Female positivity was found to be higher in both urban and rural areas.

Meanwhile, amid complaints of mass violations of Covid curbs at weddings and parties, Punjab CM on Friday ordered restriction of 100 on indoor and 250 on outdoor gatherings in the state.

Taking cognisance of the high case fatality rate in the state, the CM also extended curfew restrictions (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.) till 1 January. The night curfew was earlier imposed from 1 December to 15 December.

Chairing a high-level Covid review meeting, the Chief Minister also ordered an end to home quarantine for those above the age of 70 with co-morbidities, unless adequate medical facilities can be made available at home. Health secretary Hussan Lal pointed out during the virtual meeting that a large number of Covid deaths were also being reported from home isolation cases.
Lal disclosed that so far, close to 35 lakh samples had been tested in th state, of which 1.5 lakhs were found positive.

Though the second wave in Punjab had so far been mild, the health authorities were fully geared to tackle any eventuality, he said. He noted that 87 per cent of the deaths had been over the age of 45, with about 50% of the deaths taking place at private tertiary care centres.