Amid COVID-19 fear, Punjab govt issued a notification ordering that only those those who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus or have a negative RT-PCR test report will be allowed to enter the state from Monday. People coming from neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Jammu will be strictly monitored.
Chief Minister Amarainder Singh made the announcement today. In Punjab, only fully vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff, or those recently recovered from COVID-19, can physically be present to teach in schools and colleges even as online classes remain an option for students.
The CM also wants teachers and non-teaching staff to be prioritised for vaccination, with special camps. The state's Health Minister, meanwhile, announced reducing the gap between the two doses to prioritise second dose for teachers and other school staff.
After reopening schools, the state government has ramped up Covid testing in all institutions. The government has also decided to conduct RT-PCR tests of at least 10,000 samples from schools daily.
Apart from Punjab, schools in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have also reported several positive cases among students in the past week as offline classes resumed.
At present, the Covid tests are in the range of 45,000 to 49,000 per day in the entire state.
Reviewing the state's preparation for an imminent third wave, Singh directed the health department to undertake priority sentinel testing for patients at government and private hospitals, travellers at entry points, government offices, industries and labour colonies etc.
The CM also asked the concerned departments to speed up augmentation of the health infrastructure and medical supplies to deal with the third wave of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the CM also asked the health department to gear up for full utilisation of the additional vaccine supply, of which he had been personally assured by the Union Health Minister.
The state has been assured of 25 per cent increase in vaccine supplies by the Centre.
Meanwhile, Punjab on Friday reported 88 Covid cases and no deaths. The state's total case tally is nearly six lakh.
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