With COVID cases steadily rising in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh ordered night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am in the worst-affected cities of Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala from Saturday, while directing all big cities/towns to prepare an integrated management plan for treatment of the disease at both government and private facilities.
The state had not lifted the night curfew after recent Unlock guidelines of the Centre. The night curfew was from 11 pm to 5 am. Now, in three major cities, it has been extended by two hours.
As cases in the state went up to 20,891, the chief minister also announced a week-long trial of enforcement of the mandatory mask wearing rule by making offenders stand at the spot for an hour with a mask on. He was of the view that making offenders sweat it out might help check violations on this count, which had crossed 3.82 lakh.
GET TESTED EARLY
Answering questions in his weekly #AskCaptain Live session on Facebook, which was advanced by a day to apprise the people about his visit on Saturday to the hooch tragedy affected Tarn Taran district, Amarinder also appealed to people to get themselves tested early and start treatment in a proper hospital, urging them not to rush to private tertiary care facility directly since good treatment is available in government hospitals. There were adequate testing facilities available in the state, he said, adding that four new testing labs would become operational on Monday. Delay in going for testing and treatment was the main cause for increasing number of Covid deaths, he said, pointing out that with 26 persons succumbing on Friday, the death toll in the state had gone up to 517 (2.47 per cent).
POSITIVITY RATE UP
Amarinder said there was a steady increase in Covid infections and positivity rate in the state, with 8.50 per cent positive cases in samples tested in the past one week. He said the peak was projected to come in Punjab by end of August or early September, but one could not be certain how high the peak of daily cases may go. “Given the recent increase in cases in districts like Bathinda, Barnala, Ferozepur, we cannot afford to be complacent,” he said.
INQUIRY INTO NEGLIGENCE
In response to a question, the CM directed an inquiry by the vice-chancellor into a case of death of a non-Covid patient, Dr Parvinder, at GGS Medical College, Faridkot, as doctors refused to treat him till the file work was completed and Covid test report came, even though he was suffering from low oxygen levels. Expressing his deepest sympathies with the deceased’s wife, he said this was not acceptable and patient has to be attended first at all costs. Strict action will be taken against those found responsible, he added.
1,063 cases, 23 deaths
Chandigarh, Ludhiana: In another sharpest spike in a single day for the second consecutive day and for third time in last week, 1,063 fresh cases were reported from Punjab on Friday, driving up the total tally of people testing for novel coronavirus to 21,930 in the state.
On Thursday, Punjab had reported 1,049 cases and on August 1 the state had reported 944 new cases.
There were 23 more Covid-19 deaths in the state on Friday, taking the total count of deaths to 539. As per official media bulletin, one “repeat death” was excluded from Ludhiana.
The deaths were reported from Ludhiana (nine), Amritsar and Jalandhar (three each), Nawanshahr (two), Fatehgarh Sahib (two), and Fazilka, Kapurthala, Patiala and Sangrur (one each).
With 296 fresh cases, Ludhiana again reported maximum cases among the districts in the state. Since July 25 till Friday (August 7), Ludhiana has reported maximum cases among the districts every day. For the same period, maximum deaths each day have also been reported from the district each day, barring July 29 when there were nine deaths in Ludhiana and 10 in Jalandhar.
Congress MLA from Ludhiana (East) Sanjay Talwar, 47, his four family members were among who tested positive in the district on Friday. His family members who tested positive include his wife, two sons (23 and 21) and a brother.
Twelve police personnel, including an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), tested positive from Ludhiana city police. ens
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