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COVID-19: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh orders end to night curfew, Sunday lockdown


Chandigarh, Oct 01: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered a slew of relaxations amid COVID-19 outbreak, including lifting of night curfew and Sunday lockdown, while directing the DGP to strictly enforce wearing of masks and other safety norms.

Amarinder Singh

Among the relaxations announced by the chief minister are increasing the guests limit for marriage functions and funerals to 100 in the state, in line with the Centre’s guidelines, as well as easing the limit of three persons in a car and 50 per cent capacity in buses, subject to the condition of windows being open, an official release said here.

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Singh, however, directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to ensure strict adherence to coronavirus protocols, with immediate action against those violating the mandatory wearing of masks condition.

"There should be no laxity, especially in view of the ongoing paddy procurement operations and the forthcoming festival season,” he said.

On reopening of schools and educational institutions, which the Centre had left to the states to decide post October 15 under Unlock 5.0 guidelines, the CM said the final decision will be announced after due deliberations between the home secretary and the education department.

During a virtual meeting to review the COVID situation in the state, the senior Congress leader took note of the "decline in rising cases/deaths trend" and said the restrictions imposed earlier by the state government had helped. However, he expressed concern over the increase in COVID-19 cases in rural areas, even though the numbers in cities and towns were going down. Singh also directed Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to look into arranging for provision of vitamins among others to poor COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals.

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In a brief presentation earlier, the state's expert health committee head K K Talwar said the positivity rate in the state had come down from 10.85 per cent on September 14 to 5.12 per cent on September 28. The number of deaths and patients on ventilators had also shown a decline during this period, he said. The state's COVID-19 death rate currently stands at 2.9 per cent with deaths per million at 112.5 per cent. The recovery rate has gone up to 82.1 per cent, Talwar added.

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