Punjab witnessed three peaks in the COVID curve in the past 40 days, and it may not be possible to lift the lockdown completely for some more time, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Friday said. Asserting that saving lives is his first priority, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said any decision on lifting curfew after May 3 would be taken only on the advice of the expert committee set up to examine the issue.
“I would go by the advice of the expert committee, set up to formulate Punjab’s lockdown exit strategy in the matter of opening up the state,” he said.
During a webinar with leading industrialists, economic experts and diplomats and ambassadors of various countries, the chief minister said any decision on lifting the lockdown or curfew would be taken on the basis of the recommendations of the 20-member expert committee, which is expected to submit its report Saturday.
Reiterating that “his priority was saving lives of Punjabis”, the chief minister said “the life of my Punjabis is more important, factories can be restarted but we can’t get people back”.
Punjab looks for new testing strategy to tackle post lockdown phase
The Punjab government is preparing a new testing strategy which it says will be “most effective in containing the (coronavirus) infection and preventing its spread any further”. The new approach is being finalised with the help of experts from US-based Johns Hopkins University and Chandigarh-based PGIMER.
Yamini Aiyar, president of Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research and member of Punjab State Advisory Council, has been made incharge of preparing the testing strategy under the guidance of these experts.
Vini Mahajan, chairperson of Health Sector Response and Procurement Committee, Punjab (HSRPC), said the state is focused on increasing its testing capacity and numbers, and is mindful of taking an approach to testing that will be most effective even during post mobility restrictions phase when the social engagements rise. Mahajan said Aiyar will develop an approach considering state’s strengths, challenges and constraints.
Jalandhar, Mohali remain hotspots with 63 cases each
Chandigarh: Punjab reported 11 new positive cases of novel coronavirus on Friday, taking the total tally in the State to 298.
Jalandhar reported another positive case, a 34-year-old man who is a contact of earlier tested positive case from a newspaper, taking the total number in the district to 63 and equalling number of positive cases in Mohali.
Six cases were reported Rajpura in Patiala district, taking the total number of coronavirus positive patient in the district to 55. All the six were the contacts of patients tested earlier.
Two positive cases related to Tablighi Jamaat were reported from Mansa and one each, contacts of conronavirus positive persons, was reported from Ludhiana and Amritsar.
A total of 10611 samples have been sent for testing so far out of which 8310 have tested negative in the State. Four more patients recovered taking the total number of recovered patients to 70 in the State.
17 COVID-19 deaths have been reported and there are 211 active cases in the State.