Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said all those coming to the state, whether on domestic flights or trains or buses, will have to compulsorily undergo home quarantine for 14 days.
He ruled out any complacency despite Punjab posting the highest recovery rate of 90 per cent in the country.
“Screening of those entering the state would be done at all state and district border entry points, as well as railway stations and airports, and those found symptomatic would be sent into institutional quarantine, while others would have to undergo mandatory two-week home quarantine,” the chief minister said in his live Facebook programme `#AskCaptain'.
Rapid testing teams would check on the home-quarantined persons while those found symptomatic would have to undergo thorough testing in hospitals, Singh said in an official statement also here.
He made it clear that his government would not rely on any certificate of testing from any part of the country or the world.
He cited Punjab's experience with those who came from Maharashtra and Rajasthan, as well as more recent cases of Dubai, from where Punjabis coming back had tested positive despite carrying medical certificates showing them to be negative.
Notably, those returning to India via special international flights are already required to undergo institutional quarantine, as per the Central government's guidelines.
With a large number of Punjabis coming home, and more and more investors also showing keenness to resume business in the state, the chief minister underlined the need for strict caution, asserting that “we will not let the pandemic spread further in Punjab, which has so far managed to keep the situation under excellent control.”
In response to a question, the CM said there is likelihood of infection coming here from Punjabis returning from other countries and states, but the state is taking no chance and has made elaborate arrangements for their testing and quarantine.
“Five flights have come today, and a total of 20,000 people are expected to come from other countries on 88 flights, while 60,000 are expected from other states. I will not let this infection spread any further in Punjab,” he asserted.
Expressing his appreciation and gratitude for the cooperation of the people in checking the spread of COVID in the state, which has “done exceedingly well in controlling the situation”, Singh said the success of Punjab's strategy is evident from its slowest doubling rate of 86 days against the national average of 14 days.
Of the total 2,028 confirmed cases in the state, 1,819 had fully recovered, he said, expressing confidence that the 200 patients under treatment would also be fine soon.
“There is no patient on oxygen support and only one patient on ventilator support,” he disclosed.
As far as high recovery rate is concerned, he said it had been possible only due to Punjabis following strict discipline in maintaining all social distancing norms. It was unfortunate, however, that 39 people died in the state, with many more deaths reported nationwide.
The chief minister warned that social distancing and compulsory wearing of masks would need to be strictly followed to keep the situation under control.
He said he had directed police to take stringent action against such offenders.
On some schools not following directions regarding online fee charges, the CM asked the Amritsar resident who raised the issue to share details of the school and promised strict action.
The CM said the decision on opening gyms would be taken after May 31, in line with the government of India's guidelines.