Chandigarh: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday (March 30) announced the extension of curbs till April 10, while directing the Health Department to increase the number of vaccination sites to target priority categories on an urgent basis.
The Chief Minister made this move as Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Punjab, with the UK strain emerging the most prevalent, news agency IANS reported.
Reviewing the COVID-19 situation with the Chief Secretary and other top officials, he said all restrictions that were in place till March 31 will now remain in force till April 10, after which they would be again reviewed.
The Chief Minister also ordered the launch of a vaccination drive in the prisons, in the wake of 40 women in Patiala’s Nabha Open Jail testing positive.
Expressing grave concern over the situation, he asked Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to issue necessary directions for carrying out testing and vaccination in busy market areas, and other crowded places.
All Deputy Commissioners and Civil Surgeons were asked to identify places, such as police lines, colleges and universities, big industrial units, bus stands, and railway stations, etc, where mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres can be set up to ramp up vaccination.
All eligible government employees and other categories which he had requested for inclusion in vaccine coverage such as judges and teachers should be facilitated in getting vaccination to the extent of being eligible on account of being over 45 years of age, the Chief Minister said.
He directed the pooling of resources available in districts with a high number of cases for effective management of the pandemic and vaccination uptake.
The Chief Minister also directed that strict monitoring of home isolation patients should be done, and they should be transferred to the appropriate level of healthcare facilities, if needed.
All districts have also been asked to strengthen their teams so that the data entry of COVID-19 sampling and transportation of samples to the designated lab takes minimum time, and the result is made available within 24 hours.
On the vaccination front, the Chief Minister directed that any photo identity card shall be sufficient to approve the vaccination of eligible beneficiaries.
All districts have been ordered to increase the number of vaccination centres by including all health facilities up to the sub-centre level, dispensaries, ayurvedic and homoeopathic healthcare facilities and private empanelled hospitals.
While 45 plus age group shall be slated for vaccination from April 1, all districts shall ensure that all facilities get started at vaccination centres as early as possible and latest by March 31.