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Monday, September 27, 2021

Punjab govt staff who haven’t taken first Covid shot to be sent on leave from Sept 15: CM

Captain Amarinder also allowed teaching and non-teaching school staff who had taken at least one dose of vaccine more than four weeks ago to resume duties, subject to submission of weekly RTPCR negative test reports.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: September 10, 2021 5:08:31 pm
Capt amarinder singh, amarinder singh, Punjab CM, Punjab govt staff, punjab govt employees, Punjab Covid-19, Punjab covid, Punjab covid vaccination, indian express, indian express news, current affairs, punjab newsThe strong measure was announced on Friday by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (File)

Punjab government employees who have so far taken the first dose of Covid vaccine — for reasons other than medical — will be compulsorily sent on leave after September 15.

This strong measure was announced on Friday by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

At the high-level virtual Covid review meeting held today, the Chief Minister said vaccine effectiveness is evident from the data being analysed. Special efforts were taken to reach out to government employees, and those who continue to avoid getting vaccinated will now be asked to go on leave till they get the first dose, he said.

Captain Amarinder also allowed teaching and non-teaching school staff who had taken at least one dose of vaccine more than four weeks ago to resume duties, subject to submission of weekly RTPCR negative test reports.

However, all those with co-morbidities shall only be allowed once they are fully vaccinated, he added.

School Education Secretary Krishan Kumar earlier pointed out that currently, only fully vaccinated staff members are allowed to come to
schools. Health Minister Balbir Sidhu suggested that the gap for the second dose be reduced for school staff to 28 days, but Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan informed the meeting that the Centre had rejected the state’s request to allow them to be treated as essential services.

The Chief Minister noted with satisfaction that with aggressive testing, the situation in schools is under control. As many as 3,21,969
school students along with 33,854 teaching and non-teaching staff samples have been collected in August across a total of 5,799 schools, and a total of 158 cases have tested positive so far, which accounts for a positivity rate of only 0.05%, he added.

Citing the latest zero-survey, he revealed that for children in the age group of 6-17 years, the positivity was at 60%, and it was higher in the age bracket of 14-17 years. It was spread equally across gender and place of residence, as per the survey, which has confirmed “that our children, even though affected by Covid, have remained largely safe from serious disease,” noted the Chief Minister.

Health Minister Balbir Sidhu urged the Chief Minister to ensure availability of sufficient vaccines to ensure vaccination of all eligible people before the festivals.
The Chief Minister said he will pursue the matter with the Union Health Minister, who had earlier assured him of additional supplies. He directed the Health Department to ensure that all staff at sweetshops, kiosks, dhabas etc are vaccinated with at least one dose.

Noting that the state had already vaccinated more than 57 % of the eligible population, with the first dose administered to 1.18 crore and second to 37.81 lakh people, Captain Amarinder ordered further intensification of the vaccination drive. Teachers, parents of young children and vendors should be given priority for inoculation against Covid, he directed.

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