New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday (September 10, 2021) announced that the state government employees who fail to take even the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine for any reason other than medical will be compulsorily sent on leave after September 15. The CMO Punjab said that this ‘strong measure’ was announced to protect the people of the state from the disease and to ensure that those who are vaccinated do not have to pay the price for continued vaccine hesitancy of those who are not.

“At the high-level virtual COVID-19 review meeting held today, the Chief Minister said vaccine effectiveness is evident from the data being analysed. 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 Punjab said.

During the meeting, CM Amarinder also allowed teaching and non-teaching school staff who had taken at least one dose of vaccine more than four weeks ago to resume duties, subject to submission of weekly RT-PCR negative test reports. However, all those with co-morbidities shall only be allowed once they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

This is to be noted that the state has so far vaccinated more than 57% of the eligible population, with the first dose administered to 1.18 crore and the second to 37.81 lakh people. 

Meanwhile, Punjab has also extended the existing COVID-19 restrictions till September 30 in view of the upcoming festival season. It has put a limit of 300 persons in all gatherings, including political.

The order read, “It is mandatory for organisers, including political parties, to ensure that participants, management and staff at food stalls, in festival-related events are fully vaccinated, or at least have had a single dose.” 

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