Chandigarh, Sep 22 (IANS) Even as he expressed satisfaction at increased testing in rural areas with many panchayats passing resolutions in support of the government efforts, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered strict enforcement of Covid safety protocols and strengthening of public awareness campaigns across the state.
The Chief Minister expressed concern over the continuing violation by the people of the rules and protocols on safety.
The state government had no option but to open up but people have to realise their responsibility, he said during a Covid review meet, held through video conference, stressing the need to bring down the case fatality rate (CFR), which remains higher than the national average in Punjab.
Taking serious note of people continuing to not wear masks and not giving up spitting on the roads despite the critical situation in the state, Amarinder Singh directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to ensure punishment for those found violating the rules.
Nobody knows how long the crisis will continue or what the disease’s side effects really are, pointed out the Chief Minister, directing the departments concerned to step up their efforts to spread public awareness about the problem.
Earlier, the DGP said that 5,300 (40 per cent) of the state’s panchayats had passed formal resolutions backing Covid testing, as a result of which the initial resistance showed by public due to widespread disinformation campaigns had eased off.
Giving details of the number of police personnel impacted by the disease, Gupta said of the 86 cops who had died due to the infection, 18 had been reported in September, with eight currently on ventilators.
A total of 1,233 cops had tested Covid positive so far, he added.
The DGP said the Police Department was appointing a nodal officer to expedite disbursement of Rs 50 lakh compensation, as announced earlier by the Chief Minister, to the families of police personnel who had lost their lives in the fight against Covid.