- As per the new rules, marriages in Punjab can have only 30 attendees
- Wearing masks is now compulsory in work places/closed places in Punjab
- Asymptomatic patients will have to be in COVID care centres/home isolation
Chandigarh: The Punjab government issued revised guidelines on Monday, completely disallowing public gatherings and restricting social gatherings to five attendees and marriages and other functions to 30 instead of the current 50. It asked police to register FIRs against those violating the curb on public gatherings. The revised guidelines comes a day after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced to impose more stringent curbs in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the state.
A detailed notification issued by the government said joint teams of police and civil administration should strictly enforce the restrictions on social gatherings (restricted to five under Section 144 imposed in all districts) as well as weddings and social functions. The management of marriage halls, hotels and commercial spaces will be held responsible in case the guidelines are violated and they could face suspension of their licences.
They will have to certify that adequate arrangements for ventilation of indoor spaces have been made, the notification added. The state government has also partnered with IIT Chennai experts to intensify surveillance, using technology in order to identify super-spreader gatherings in the past that have resulted in spread of the infection, to guide future action. Wearing of masks has been made compulsory in work places/offices/closed places.
The new guidelines also direct strict enforcement of the health department advisory on air conditioning and ventilation/air circulation. Public dealing in offices may be curtailed to cater to need based and urgent issues, according to the guidelines, which provide that the online public grievance redressal system recently approved by the Cabinet should be extensively popularised and used.
To ensure optimum utilisation of health infrastructure, asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic persons with no comorbidities or vulnerabilities will have to be in COVID care centres/home isolation where applicable. Beds in Level 2 and 3 facilities will not be used to cater to such patients. A person in a Level 2 or 3 facility who no longer needs this facility must be referred by way of reverse referral to a lower level treatment facility, the guidelines said.
Deputy commissioners, commissioners of police and SSPs have been asked to ensure that all hospitals give information on their beds availability and are not denying treatment to COVID-19 patients. The Punjab government has also decided on a sanitation drive which will be undertaken by both urban local bodies and Panchayati Raj institutions on campaign basis for the prevention of dengue/vector-borne disease.
On Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced that those coming to Punjab for less than 72 hours are now exempt from the mandatory home quarantine, and only need to submit a formal undertaking at the border check post. While announcing this relaxation for inbound domestic travellers, Chief Minister Singh said,
It had been decided to provide this concession to facilitate students wishing to come for examinations or business travelers, etc, whose stay in the state is less than 72 hours from the time of their arrival. It has been decided to exempt such travelers from the 14-day mandatory home quarantine requirement that remains in place for domestic inbound travelers in Punjab.
The exempted travellers will, however, need to submit a formal undertaking with the OIC of the check post in a standard format provided on the COVA app, which they would have to download on their phones.
Besides entering their details in the app’s travellers’ information section, these persons would have to undertake that the COVA app will remain active throughout their period of stay in Punjab.
The additional SOPs for such travellers require them to voluntarily submit that they are not coming from any containment zone and undertake not to stay for more than 72 hours in Punjab from the time of arrival in the state.
During this period, they shall commit to monitoring their health and maintaining distance from those around, and also interact with the assigned surveillance team in case they suffer from any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and will immediately call at 104.
All due precautions would have to be strictly adhered to and non-adherence to wearing of mask/social distancing etc would make them liable to be acted upon under section 188 of IPC as per provision of The Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, the Chief Minister added.
Further, if within a week of return any such person is tested positive then he/she will have to immediately contact the Government of Punjab at 104 and assist them in contact tracing.
It may be recalled that while the Government of India had recently waived off the requirement of home quarantine for domestic travelers and replaced the same with self-monitoring. Captain Amarinder Singh has made it clear that quarantine restrictions will continue to remain in place in Punjab on account of rising numbers. Today’s announcement is the only exemption to the rule.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.