Chandigarh:  With the state’s Covid-19 positivity rate sliding to 0.4 per cent, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered lifting of weekend and night curfew, and allowed gatherings of 100 persons indoors and 200 outdoors from Monday.

At the same time, he directed the Director General of Police to fine all political leaders violating Covid behavior rules while holding rallies and protest meetings.

Even as he hoped that better sense will prevail on the political parties and leaders brazenly violating curbs by holding massive protests, he asked DGP Dinkar Gupta to issue challans against those indulging in anti-Covid behaviour.

The Chief Minister also ordered opening of bars, cinema halls, restaurants, spas, swimming pools, gyms, malls, sports complexes, museums, zoos, etc., subject to all eligible staff members and visitors having taken at least one dose each of the vaccine.

Though schools will continue to remain closed, colleges, coaching centres and all other institutions of higher learning will be allowed to open by the Deputy Commissioner concerned, subject to a certificate having been submitted that all teaching, non-teaching staff, and students have been given at least one dose of vaccination, at least two weeks ago.

The Chief Minister, while reviewing the Covid situation virtually, said the situation will again be reviewed on July 20. Strict use of masks must be ensured at all times, he directed, while announcing the easing of restrictions.

Heath Secretary Hussan Lal said four districts had shown positivity of one or less than one per cent, but the districts that still needed vigilance were Ludhiana, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, and Ropar.

Referring to the cases of black fungus, which has been reported in 623 patients as of July 8, the Chief Minister asked the Health Department to work out a proposal for supporting and helping in the treatment of such patients.

Of the 623 cases, 67 are from outside the state, the Health Secretary informed the meeting, adding that 337 cases were under treatment and 154 had been discharged while 51 patients had died.

The maximum cases reported in a day were 34 on May 27, while the average of daily cases in the first week of July stood at 5.

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