The Punjab Congress will not hold any political gatherings for the next two weeks in view of the spike in Covid-19 cases in the state.

This was announced by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at a review meeting on the Covid situation.

Amarinder Singh also appealed to other political parties and their leaders to keep their gatherings within the prescribed numbers i.e. 50 per cent of capacity, subject to maximum of 100 in closed and 200 in open spaces.

No political gatherings should take place in the most affected districts, he said.

Underlining the need for strict enforcement, the Chief Minister ordered compulsory enforcement of wearing of face masks in the state.

He directed the police and health authorities to take all those moving around and loitering in public areas, and on the roads and streets, without face masks, to the nearest RT-PCR Testing Facility for taking nasopharyngeal swabs to ensure that they are not asymptomatic Covid cases.

He asked the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar to talk to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) and management of Durgiana temple to encourage devotees to wear masks inside the shrines.

The rise in cases was a matter of serious concern, particularly in rural areas which had seen much fewer cases last year, said the Chief Minister, directing the departments concerned to launch awareness campaigns in villages.

Earlier, Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Sidhu said unlike previously, when there were more cases in urban areas, Covid cases were now almost equally divided between urban and rural areas.

Both he and Minister O.P. Soni called for restrictions on political and social gatherings.

–IANS

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