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Punjab Extends Covid Curbs Till July 10

Punjab Extends Covid Curbs Till July 10

Alarmed over cases of Delta Plus variant, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered extension of the Covid-19 restrictions till July 10 but with some relaxations.

Bars, pubs and ‘ahatas’ have been allowed to open at 50% capacity, beginning July 1. Skill development centres and universities have also been allowed to open, but only if the staff and students have taken at least one dose of the vaccines. IELTS coaching institutes were already allowed to be opened, subject to students and staff having taken at least one dose of vaccine.

Announcing the relaxations at a high-level Covid review meeting, the chief minister made it clear that bars, pubs and ‘ahatas’ would have to strictly maintain social distancing protocols, and waiters/servers/other employees should have taken at least one dose of the Covid vaccines.

He also made it clear that it would be the responsibility of the owners to ensure that the conditions are met.

Expressing satisfaction over the decline in the Covid positivity rate to less than 1%, and an overall fall in the active cases, the chief minister also noted that the positivity rate in some districts still remained over 1%.

Further, the emergence of Delta plus variant was a matter of concern, making it essential to continue with the curbs, the CM stressed.

The month-wise genome sequencing has shown that more than 90% is a variant of concern, with the original virus having been practically replaced by variants, said the chief minister.

Two Delta plus cases (Ludhiana and Patiala) have come to light so far in the state, while in May and June, the Delta variant was most prevalent, he pointed out.

Of the 198 contacts of the Ludhiana patient traced and tested, one was found positive and the sample has been sent for genome sequencing, while in the Patiala case, for which the genome sequencing report was received on June 26, the process of tracing/testing is going on.

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