14-day home quarantine must for all returnees: Punjab CM

Chandigarh: Ruling out any complacency despite Punjab posting the highest 90 per cent recovery rate in the country, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said, here on Saturday, 14-day home quarantine was compulsory for all those coming to the state.

Screening of all those entering the state would be done at the border entry points, as well as railway stations and airports. Those found symptomatic would be sent to institutional quarantine, he added.

The Chief Minister was taking part in his Facebook live programme a#AskCaptain’.

Rapid testing teams would monitor the home quarantined people, those found symptomatic would be tested at hospitals and isolation centres, he said making it clear his government would not rely on any certificates of testing from any part of the country or the world.

He cited example of returnees from Maharashtra and Rajasthan, as well as Dubai, who carried medical certificates showing Covid-19 negative but tested coronavirus positive on reaching the state.

Those returning to India via special international flights are required to undergo institutional quarantine, as per the central government guidelines.

With a large number of Punjabis returning home, and more businesses being keen on resuming activities, the Chief Minister underlined the need for strict caution. “We have kept the situation under control and will not let the pandemic spread further,” he said.

The Chief Minister said there was likelihood of infection from Punjabis returning home, and the state was taking no chances and had made elaborate arrangements for their testing and quarantine.

Five flights came on Saturday. Over 20,000 people are expected to come from abroad on 88 flights, and 60,000 from other states. “I will not let this infection spread any further in Punjab,” he said.

The Chief Minister thanked labourers who had chosen to stay back and contribute to Punjab’s economic strength. Nearly half of the migrants who had registered online to return home had decided to stay back and had started working in the industry, said the Chief Minister. “This is your state and you are part of it,” he remarked.

Stating that it’s vital for industry to function to ensure livelihood, he said 1.5 lakh of the 2.56 lakh industries in the state had resumed operations. Keep following social distancing norms stringently at workplaces to beat the virus, he added.

The state government is reaching out to embassies of various nations, looking to shift manufacturing and businesses out of China. Punjab was in talks with various embassies, like Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and had offered all possible support, in terms of land, infrastructure and other facilities, he said.

Of the 2,028 cases in the state, 1,819 had recovered, he said and expressed the confidence that 200 patients under treatment would also be fine soon. “There is no patient on oxygen support, only one on ventilator support,” he said.

He said the high recovery could be attributed to strict discipline by Punjabis in following social distancing norms. It was unfortunate, however, that 39 people died in the state, he added.