The Chief Minister’s Office in a press release said, “This measure was announced by CM Captain Amarinder Singh to protect the people of the state from the disease and to ensure that those who are vaccinated do not have to pay the price for continued vaccine hesitancy of those who are not.”
Highlights from a high-level virtual Punjab Covid review meeting are:
CM Singh said special efforts were taken to reach out to Government employees, and those who continue to avoid getting vaccinated will now be asked to go on leave till they get the first dose.
The chief minister also announced an extension of the Covid restrictions in the state till September 30 because of the festival season.
Teaching/Non-Teaching staff can join schools if they have 1 dose taken 4 weeks ago but weekly RTPCR tests are mandatory.
All those with co-morbidities shall only be allowed once they are fully vaccinated.
Education Secretary Krishan Kumar pointed that currently only fully vaccinated staff members are allowed to come to schools.
Health Minister Balbir Sidhu suggested reducing the gap for the second dose for the school staff to 28 days.
The Centre has rejected the state’s request to treat them essential services, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan informed the meeting.
The chief minister noted with satisfaction that with aggressive testing, the situation in schools had remained under control.
CM Singh said that “our children, even though affected by COVID, have remained largely safe from serious disease.”
Punjab has already vaccinated more than 57 per cent of the eligible population.
The CM expressed satisfaction at the fact that the vaccine stocks supplied to the state were utilised without any wastage.