Dismissing the possibility of imposing a night curfew in the city, the Chandigarh Administration on Thursday enhanced the fine to `1000 for not wearing a mask.
With an aim to battle the resurgence in Covid-19 cases, the Administration took a series of decisions including enhancing the fine for not wearing a mask, intensifying testing in crowded places and stricter enforcement of Covid protocols in public places.
The decisions were taken during a review meeting held by Punjab Governor and UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore on Thursday.
The city has so far recorded more than 17,000 positive cases.
During the meeting, the Administration decided to give a go ahead for classroom teaching in Medical College-32 from December 5 for the students. Apart from this, coaching institutions will be permitted to open from December 1, subject to strict observance of COVID protocol, both in classes and hostels. However, the students will be directed to concentrate on online teaching, rather than physical classes.
Badnore directed the Administration to ensure that COVID protocol is followed in public gatherings like marriages, social events etc.
He also directed stricter enforcement of COVID protocol in places like Mandi in Sector 26, ISBT, Railway Station, Parks, Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden and other market places, where crowding takes place. He further asked the UT Police Department and Deputy Commissioner to go for stricter punishment of COVID violations. The fine for not wearing a face mask in public places has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1000. Till date, 27,878 challans have been issued against people, who violated COVID protocols in the city.
On preparation for COVID-19 vaccination, the Administrator directed officials to be ready for storage, transportation, distribution and planned vaccination of people, once it is made available.
Adviser Manoj Parida said that there will be no night curfew in Chandigarh.
However, the closing time of bars, restaurants, clubs etc. will be reviewed in the next meeting, in case of a surge in number of COVID cases.
The health officials have been asked to intensify corona checking and testing in crowded places like ISBT, Sector-26 Mandi, Railway Station, Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden and crowded market areas, he said.
Recently, the UT Health Department had issued an advisory stating that the residents should avoid travelling to high risk zones like New Delhi and NCR region unless unavoidable because their probability of getting infected increases substantially when they are in these high risk zones.
MOBILE TESTING AT ISBT-17 FOR PASSENGERS
Dr Amandeep Kang, Director Health Services said that mobile testing teams are stationed at ISBT-17 for free testing of the passengers coming from outside.
She said that they have tested 13,687 COVID samples in about ten days, out of which 1,131 were found positive. She also mentioned that 3,312 patients were tested in flu clinics.
She also mentioned that 17,922 houses have been checked for Dengue and till date, 229 cases have been detected this year.
In PGIMER, 4,834 tests were conducted, out of which 606 found positive. GMCH-32 has tested 2,680 COVID samples, out of which 165 were found positive.
Notably, for the test by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method, the labs are now charging Rs 900 instead of earlier cost of Rs 1,200. For rapid antigen tests, the rates have been fixed at Rs 500, down from Rs 650.
Also, a free voluntary testing facility is available at GMSH16, civil hospital Manimajra, civil hospital Sector 22, civil hospital Sector 45 and five mobile testing units as per schedule. People travelling back from New Delhi by bus can avail the free COVID testing facility provided at sector 17 bus stand or other centres.