Chandigarh, Oct 15 (IANS) With Covid-19 cases showing a marked decline in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered resumption of normal OPD services and elective surgeries with extensive precautions in place, but warned against any complacency given the projections of a possible second wave of the pandemic.
The Chief Minister also allowed opening of government schools from October 19 after due sanitation and disinfection procedures, and with clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) mandating parents’ consent, as well as ceiling on number of students and hours of operation.
Some of the private schools in the state reopened on Thursday.
Expressing concern over the warnings by health and medical experts of the grave possibility of a second wave hitting the state in the festival season or during the winter months, the Chief Minister directed the departments concerned to take all steps to ensure that things remain under control in the festive times ahead.
He asked the Health and Medical Education Departments to work with the market committees to ensure widespread distribution of masks with steps to encourage people to wear them, and also follow social distancing norms.
The Chief Minister, who was chairing a virtual review meeting of the Covid-19 situation, also asked the departments to ensure that the medical staff is kept motivated and all vacancies of technicians etc. are filled immediately so that normal OPD services and elective surgeries can be carried out seamlessly amid the pandemic situation.
Secretaries of the health and medical research departments briefed the Chief Minister on the steps being taken to ensure full precautions in OPDs, wards and operation theatres as per SOPs and guidelines for infection prevention and control.
Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta told the meeting that the police are gearing up to manage the festival season, during which security would be beefed up and all efforts would be made to ensure strict adherence to Covid protocols.
He also said that the police are currently focused on handling the increasing number of farmers’ protests.
According to the DGP, the force had lost 22 personnel to Covid-19 in September, taking the toll to 39.
As of date, 434 cops are positive, with an average of 72 cases getting reported among the Punjab Police every day during September. However, the figures have now come down to about 10.