CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government on Friday allowed the reopening of IELTS coaching institutes as it extended the existing Covid curbs till June 30.
Under the fresh guidelines, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) coaching institutes have been allowed to reopen with the condition that their teachers, staff and students have had at least one vaccination shot.
IELTS is a global standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a tweet said, "The present #Covid19 restrictions will continue till 30@June with additional relaxation only for IELTS & skill development coaching institutes who can now open provided their teachers, staff & students have had at least one vaccination."
"I urge all to have themselves vaccinated. Bars, pubs and taverns will continue to remain closed. Similarly, all educational institutions will also remain shut. Not more than 50 people will be allowed to gather for weddings and cremations."
The daily night curfew will continue to be in place from 8 pm to 5 am, with the weekend curfew on Sunday.
Punjab on Friday registered 341 fresh cases, taking the state's infection count to 5,94,279, while 12 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 15,956.
Meanwhile, private hospital chain Fortis Healthcare on Friday said it has rolled out the Sputnik V, the third anti-coronavirus vaccine approved for use in India, for eligible people.
It said it rolled out the vaccine at Fortis Hospital in Mohali as part of its limited pilot soft launch.
Around 200 people received the jab on Friday of the two-dose vaccine.
The registration for the vaccination can be done through the CoWin and Aarogya Setu applications, a statement issued by the Fortis said.
The vaccine stock has been directly procured by Fortis from Dr Reddy's Laboratories, in accordance with the government guidelines and has been priced at Rs 1,145 per dose, it said.
"While Fortis Hospital Mohali continues to administer Covishield and Covaxin vaccines, Sputnik V is also being made available to the public," it said.
Fortis Healthcare ramped up its vaccination drive after vaccines were opened to all age groups above 18.
Zonal Director, Fortis hospital, Mohali, Abhijit Singh said, "Ours is the first hospital in the region to start vaccination for Sputnik V for the general public."
"The first day of the vaccination got a good response from the people as around 200 people were vaccinated till Friday evening," he said.
Notably, Russia's Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology has developed the vaccine.
The state on Friday registered 341 fresh Covid cases, which took the tally to 5,94,279, while 12 more fatalities pushed the toll to 15,956 in the state, according to a medical bulletin.
The number of active cases has dropped to 4,832, it said.
Deaths were reported from several districts including Fazilka, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur.
Ludhiana reported 43 new cases, followed by 33 in Bathinda and 30 in Amritsar, according to the bulletin.
The state's positivity rate stands at 0.7 per cent.
With 768 recoveries, the number of cured persons has reached 5,73,491 in the state, it said.
There are 114 critical patients who are on ventilator support, 373 other critical patients and 1,676 are on oxygen support, the bulletin said.
It said that 1,06,56,459 samples have been collected for testing so far in the state.
Meanwhile, Chandigarh reported 34 cases, taking the tally to 61,581, according to the medical bulletin.
With no death, the toll stood at 807 in the city.
The number of active cases dropped to 241, according to the bulletin.
With 42 patients being discharged after recovery, the number of cured persons reached 60,533, it said.
The bulletin said that 5,59,491 samples have been taken for testing so far and of them, 4,96,656 tested negative while reports of 18 samples are awaited.