Negative RT-PCR report or full vaccination mandatory for entering Punjab
The Punjab government on Saturday announced that from Monday the state will allow entry to only those who are either fully vaccinated against coronavirus or have a negative RT-PCR report. The directions, issued after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh held a COVID-19 review meeting in Chandigarh, also said that there will be strict monitoring of people coming from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu.
RAT test will be conducted for others: Singh
"The new restrictions will apply to all those entering Punjab by road, rail, or air," Singh said, adding if a person does not fulfill either of the criteria, he/she will have to undergo RAT (rapid antigen test) unless they recently recovered from COVID-19.
Only fully vaccinated teaching staff will teach in schools, colleges
Singh also expressed concern about the positivity rate in Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country, which probably also pushed Punjab's positivity rate marginally up to 0.2% in the last week. Amid reports of COVID-19 cases from schools, Singh also directed that only fully vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff, or those recently recovered from COVID-19, physically teach in schools and colleges.
Punjab has reported nearly 6 lakh COVID-19 cases
"Online learning options will remain available to all children," he said. Several school students have tested positive for coronavirus over the past few days. In the last 24 hours, the state has recorded 88 fresh COVID-19 cases, thus pushing the total tally to 5,99,846 COVID-19 cases. It has recorded 16,334 fatalities so far. The state currently has 568 active cases.
Other states have also imposed strict COVID-19 restrictions
Notably, other states are also resorting to stringent measures to stop the coronavirus spread. While Karnataka has made negative RT-PCR report and full vaccination mandatory for travelers, the Lakshadweep administration has imposed curbs on the movement of people traveling to the mainland from the islands.
The country is averaging 40,000 daily cases for several weeks
India had faced a devastating coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, reporting lakhs of cases and thousands of deaths daily. The situation has since improved, with the country averaging 40,000 daily cases for the past several weeks. India has partially vaccinated 30% of the population while 8.5% have been fully inoculated. However, experts warn a third wave of the pandemic could hit India this month.