CHANDIGARH, Nov 25:
The Punjab Government on Wednesday decided to reimpose night curfew from December 1 in all cities and towns of the state, besides doubling the fine for not wearing masks.
The fresh restrictions to fight COVID-19 were announced amid fears of a second wave of the infection in Punjab in the wake of the grim situation in Delhi-NCR.
The night curfew will remain in force from 10 pm to 5 am, said Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh after a Covid review meeting here, according to a Government statement.
The fine for not wearing masks and ignoring social distancing norms too shall be hiked from the present Rs 500 to Rs 1,000.
The curbs, which shall be reviewed on December 15, also curtail operation timings of hotels, restaurants and marriage places and they will have to be closed by 9.30 pm.
The CM warned people against letting their guard down under any circumstances.
Given the inflow of patients from Delhi for treatment in Punjab, it has also been decided to review and optimise the availability of beds in the state’s private hospitals.
The CM has asked Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to work with the concerned departments to encourage more private hospitals to come on board and earmark beds for Covid care.
To further strengthen the availability of oxygen and ICU beds, Singh also ordered the strengthening of the level-2 and level-3 hospitals, with constant monitoring of districts that are not equipped with level-3 facilities.
The management practices in government medical colleges and hospitals and civil hospitals should also be examined in light of the recommendations of the report received from the expert group, he said.
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 manpower.
Recently, 249 specialist doctors and 407 medical officers were recruited.
The departments have also been asked to consider preparing fourth and fifth-year MBBS students as reserved back-ups, in case of need in the future.
On the testing front, the CM 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.
The district hospitals must have round-the-clock testing available, and the same must also be made available at other convenient locations where people can easily access them, he said.
While the increase in contract-tracing was a positive sign, steps must be taken to ensure that all these contacts are also tested, said the CM.
To ensure that no deaths take place in home isolation, Amarinder Singh said the agency hired to look into these cases should keep close tabs on such patients. (PTI)
CHANDIGARH, Nov 25: