The chief minister also said that people working as shop workers, mandi workers, and frontline government employees should get tested this week, declaring it a ‘testing week’
Amid rising coronavirus cases, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday emphasised the need for 100 percent testing in micro-containment and containment zones using rapid antigen tests to check further spread of COVID-19.
Rapid antigen tests give results for the coronavirus infection in half an hour.
Reviewing the prevalent COVID-19 situation across the state, the chief minister asked deputy commissioners, commissioners of police, district police chiefs and civil surgeons to go for vigorous contact tracing of at least 10 contacts of each positive case, according to a government statement.
He also directed testing of persons with multiple contacts on account of their occupations, such as shop workers, mandi workers, and frontline government employees, within this week, declaring that this should be a ‘testing week’.
Punjab has so far reported 27,936 coronavirus cases with 706 deaths.
The chief minister also directed that all the offices, business establishments, industrial units and marriage palaces, where more than 10 people gather, must appoint ‘COVID monitors’ to ensure adherence of safety protocols.
These monitors will be responsible to ensure proper hygiene and sanitisation of working places to check infections from this disease, he said in an official statement.
Singh also exhorted people who recovered from this disease to generously donate plasma in the designated plasma banks at the government medical colleges of Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot to treat the patients infected with coronavirus.
He also showed deep concern over the general perception amongst the public about the stigma attached to coronavirus.
Singh asked the chief secretary to direct the public relations department to launch a vigorous publicity campaign to bring awareness amongst people about the significance of COVID-19 testing as at present people were shying away from getting tested due to this stigma.
Citing his own example, the chief minister said he has no qualms for such a stigma as he would gladly share his video of getting tested on various social media platforms to instil confidence among people about testing, which was of paramount importance, especially during the recent spike.
Earlier, he asked officers to divide the districts into sectors to keep a strict vigil over the COVID-19 situation by ramping up 100 percent testing, surveillance and contact tracing.
He also underscored the need to intensify efforts to launch testing on war footing, especially within the old walled areas of these cities, where most of such cases remain untraced.
Taking part in the deliberations, state police chief Dinkar Gupta urged Singh to request the religious leaders like ‘jathedar’ of Akal Takht and other heads of the religious organisations to appeal to people to strictly follow the guidelines of the health department concerning COVID-19.
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