CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said he will take a final decision on the opening of gyms and other relaxations in the third phase of 'unlock' after receiving inputs from deputy commissioners.
He asked the deputy commissioner (DCs) to submit their views to Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, according to a government statement.
The chief minister in a meeting with state officials said youngsters have been demanding to open gyms and coaching centres, but modalities would have to be thought through before any decision is taken.
K K Talwar, the advisor to the health and family welfare department, pointed out that scientific data shows wearing a mask is as effective as a lockdown because it not only prevents the spread of COVID-19 but also lowers mortality.
Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta informed the meeting that from March 23 to July 29, 14,384 FIRs have been registered and 19,850 people arrested for various violations.
As many as 5,50,150 people have been fined for violation of the COVID guidelines.
The chief minister expressed concern over the rising death toll due to the disease and called for concerted efforts to bring down the fatality rate.
Twenty-five people have died since Wednesday night, taking the COVID-19 death toll in the state to 361, he said.
"Given the spiralling cases, all DCs should work closely with the health department as well as the police to secure the willing cooperation and support of the people, especially religious and community leaders," he said.
The DCs of some of the worst affected districts, including Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Mohali, briefed the meeting on the situation in their respective regions and the measures being taken to monitor, track, test and treat COVID-19 patients.
The state currently has 64 micro-containment zones, of which 16 are in Jalandhar.
The government on Thursday also deputed 22 IAS, IFS and PCS officers as COVID Patient Tracking Officers (CPTOs), amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state.
Mahajan said the state government has designated these officers as CPTOs to ensure coordination and expeditious response at district level by tracking patients from the time they test positive till the completion of their treatment.
These officers will perform their role as CTPOs in addition to their current duties and will report to the deputy commissioners concerned, she said in an official release here.
The CPTOs should ensure that they receive details of each COVID patient as soon as the result is declared by the lab, the chief secretary said, adding that they should also follow up with the labs to ensure that there is no undue delay in sharing of the results.
The CPTOs shall ensure that each positive patient is brought to the nearest health facility so that their medical condition can be assessed, and the future course of treatment finalised.
Mahajan said the CPTOs will be authorised to exercise their judgment and incur any expenditure required to save lives in consultation with deputy commissioners.
The CPTOs should have a full list of availability of beds and ventilators in COVID Care Centres, and government and private hospitals.
They should also have details of ambulance service providers, she said.
The chief secretary stressed that the CPTOs will ensure that each patient under home isolation is tele-monitored on a daily basis.
The telephone number of the district control room should be shared with the patient in case of any emergency referral.
The CPTOs will ensure that in case of death of a COVID patient, the cremation or burial is done as soon as possible as per the state protocol, she said.