August 14, 2021 1:36:01 pm
From Monday, one has to either have a negative RT-PCR report or be fully vaccinated to be able to enter Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said as he tightened rules of entry to the state.
Also, people coming in from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir would be monitored strictly as the areas have been showing a spike in positivity rate.
Amid reports of Covid-19 cases being reported from schools, the Chief Minister has also directed that only fully vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff, or those who have recently recovered from Covid, should physically teach, with the online option remaining open to all children.
He further ordered prioritisation of teachers and non-teaching staff for vaccination, with special camps being held to ensure that all are covered with the first dose within this month.
Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu suggested reducing the gap between the two doses to inoculate teachers and other school staff with both shots.
The directives came following a review meeting chaired by the Chief Minister. Punjab’s positivity rate has also gone up marginally by 0.2% over the last week, standing at 1.05%.
The Cambridge study has also predicted that cases are likely to double in the next 64 days, he warned, announcing new restrictions in addition to those already in force.
The Chief Minister has also ordered at least 10,000 test samples of students and staff from schools to be taken every day. Districts/cities where positivity is above 0.2 % have been asked to halt classes for students below Classes 4 until the situation improves.
For people entering Punjab without a negative RT-PCR report or vaccination certificate, a rapid antigen test will be done unless the person has recovered from Covid recently.
On schools which have recently reopened for certain classes, the Chief Minister said that although there have been reports of cases being reported from the institutions, intensive testing over the last one week shows that positivity among students is 0.1 % as against the overall positivity of 0.2%. Since August 9, 41 students and 1 staff member in government schools have tested positive.
Calling for strict vigil, he said that teachers who are not fully vaccinated should stick to teaching online. The number of students attending should also be suitably curtailed if enough fully vaccinated teachers are not available, the Chief Minister said, while directing schools to ensure that only one child sits per bench.
Amarinder further said that parents of school-going children should also get vaccinated immediately.
The CM informed that the Delta variant continues to be the predominant one in the state and said that 92 samples will be sent every three weeks for genome sequencing.
The Chief Minister further noted that post-Covid care was now available at all GMCHs and district hospitals. The meeting was also informed that Mucormycosis cases have come down substantially and only 1 case was reported last week as opposed to 6 in the previous week.
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