Chandigarh: Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced the decision to send state government employees compulsorily on leave who fail to take even the first dose of vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The chief minister also ordered an extension of the existing Covid restrictions in the state till September 30 in view of the upcoming festival season.
At a high-level virtual Covid review meeting, Singh cited the inoculation and infection data to highlight vaccine efficacy. The decision to send un-vaccinated employees on leave was taken to ensure vaccinated individuals do not pay the price of vaccine hesitancy, according to the chief minister’s office.
“Special efforts were taken to reach out to government employees, and those who continue to avoid getting vaccinated will now be asked to go on leave till they get the first dose,” the CMO said in a release.
The teaching and non-teaching school staff who had taken at least one dose of the vaccine over four weeks ago will be allowed to resume their duties, given they submit negative RTPCR test reports every week. The school staff with co-morbidities will only be allowed once they are fully vaccinated, as per the latest decision.
Punjab's Covid-19 situation has further improved even as some states are reporting a spike in infections. While the reopening of schools has caused concern, Singh expressed satisfaction that the situation remained under control with aggressive testing.
The chief minister noted that only 0.05% of the samples taken from students, teaching and non-teaching staff tested positive for Covid-19. Citing the latest serosurvey, Singh said that “our children, even though affected by Covid, have remained largely safe from serious disease,” according to CMO.