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Capt Amarinder seeks views of DCs on Unlock 3.0 relaxations

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday sought views of DCs on the opening of gyms and coaching centres and said he would take the final decision on this and other relaxations in Unlock 3.0 after receiving their inputs, a press release by the state government said.

At a video-conference review meeting with the DCs and health officials on COVID-19 containment and management arrangements, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said while the Central Government had announced certain relaxations, including permission for gyms and coaching centres, as per the Unlock 3.0 guidelines, he would decide on the same after an assessment of the ground situation.

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The Chief Minister has asked the DCs to think through and submit their views to Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, following which a final decision will be taken by the government after due deliberations, the press release further read.

Underlining the need for strict enforcement in view of the increasing number of cases in the state, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said while there was a lot of demand from youngsters for the opening of both gyms and coaching centres, the modalities would have to be thought through and all options to be explored before the decision can be taken.

Taking serious note of reports of violation of social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols by some shopkeepers, he directed the DCs to order shut-down of shops for three days in the case of the first offence and for a higher number of days on subsequent violations. He further asked the DCs to strictly enforce all safety protocols and norms, including wearing of masks and social distancing, to check the spread of the pandemic.

Expressing grave concern over the increased mortality, the Chief Minister called for concerted efforts to bring down the fatality rate.

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Punjab has so far lost 361 lives to COVID-19, with 25 patients succumbing in the past 24 hours, he pointed out, adding that this was not acceptable. With early detection the only cure, the message of early treatment has to go do down more effectively, he said, directing the DCs to take all steps necessary to create awareness among people to go for testing at the first sign of illness.

The DCs of some of the worst affected districts, namely Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Mohali, briefed the meeting on the situation in their respective regions and the measures being taken to monitor, track, test and treat people. Jalandhar SSP said given the social stigma attached to COVID-19, the district police have made it mandatory for all chemists to report those buying medicines for the treatment of fever and flu.

The state currently has 64 micro-containment zones, of which 16 are in Jalandhar, which also has 20 clusters and one large outbreak. The maximum number of clusters, however, are in Amritsar, though it has only two micro containment zones. Ludhiana (City), Jalandhar (City), Sangrur, Barnala, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Ferozepur Districts have seen the maximum surge in cases of police personnel testing positive in the past one week, the press release read.

The Chief Minister asked the DCs to ensure that government offices, including their own, led by example in following social-distancing norms. He suggested the appointment of a dedicated COVID Prevention Monitor to ensure compliance at every private institution where a number of people are expected to come. He also asked the DCs to take steps for distribution of masks free of cost to the needy, and also make sanitisers and mask vending machines available at public places.

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