State news

Punjab govt employees to be sent on compulsory leave after Sep 15 if not a single vaccine dose taken

Punjab government employees failing to take even the first dose of Covid vaccine for any reason other than medical will be compulsorily sent on leave after September 15. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced this strict step and said the motive is to protect the people of the state from the deadly 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 review meeting held at Chandigarh today, the Chief Minister said vaccine effectiveness is evident from the data being analysed. Special efforts are being 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.

Captain 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 RTPCR negative test reports. However, all those with comorbidities shall only be allowed once they are fully vaccinated, he added.

Captain Amarinder noted with satisfaction that with aggressive testing, the situation in schools had remained under control. Noting that the state had already vaccinated more than 57 % of the eligible population, with the first dose administered to 1.18 crore and second to 37.81 lakh people, Captain Amarinder ordered further intensification of the vaccination drive. He directed that teachers, parents of young children and vendors should be given priority for inoculation against Covid, The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction at the fact that the vaccine stocks supplied to the state had been utilised without any wastage.

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