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Punjab bans public gatherings, tightens restrictions on marriage functions

A detailed notification issued by the government said joint teams of police and civil administration should strictly enforce the restrictions on social gatherings (restricted to five under Section 144 imposed in all districts) as well as weddings and social functions. The management of marriage halls, hotels and commercial spaces will be held responsible in case the guidelines are violated and they could face suspension of their licences.

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 13-07-2020 17:43 IST | Created: 13-07-2020 17:43 IST
Punjab bans public gatherings, tightens restrictions on marriage functions

The Punjab government issued revised guidelines on Monday, completely disallowing public gatherings and restricting social gatherings to five attendees and marriages and other functions to 30 instead of the current 50. It asked police to register FIRs against those violating the curb on public gatherings.

The revised guidelines comes a day after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced to impose more stringent curbs in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the state. A detailed notification issued by the government said joint teams of police and civil administration should strictly enforce the restrictions on social gatherings (restricted to five under Section 144 imposed in all districts) as well as weddings and social functions.

The management of marriage halls, hotels and commercial spaces will be held responsible in case the guidelines are violated and they could face suspension of their licences. They will have to certify that adequate arrangements for ventilation of indoor spaces have been made, the notification added. The state government has also partnered with IIT Chennai experts to intensify surveillance, using technology in order to identify super-spreader gatherings in the past that have resulted in spread of the infection, to guide future action.

Wearing of masks has been made compulsory in work places/offices/closed places. The new guidelines also direct strict enforcement of the health department advisory on air conditioning and ventilation/air circulation.

Public dealing in offices may be curtailed to cater to need based and urgent issues, according to the guidelines, which provide that the online public grievance redressal system recently approved by the Cabinet should be extensively popularised and used. To ensure optimum utilisation of health infrastructure, asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic persons with no comorbidities or vulnerabilities will have to be in COVID care centres/home isolation where applicable.

Beds in Level 2 and 3 facilities will not be used to cater to such patients. A person in a Level 2 or 3 facility who no longer needs this facility must be referred by way of reverse referral to a lower level treatment facility, the guidelines said. Deputy commissioners, commissioners of police and SSPs have been asked to ensure that all hospitals give information on their beds availability and are not denying treatment to COVID-19 patients.

The Punjab government has also decided on a sanitation drive which will be undertaken by both urban local bodies and Panchayati Raj institutions on campaign basis for the prevention of dengue/vector-borne disease. According to the state health department, the coronavirus tally had risen to 7,821 and the death toll to 199 by Sunday.


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