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

Punjab government implementing strong measures as 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. This was announced on Friday by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh 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.

The Chief Minister said vaccine effectiveness is evident from the data being analysed at the high-level virtual Covid review meeting held on Friday. 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. Capt 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 co-morbidities shall only be allowed once they are fully vaccinated, he added. Currently, only fully vaccinated staff members are allowed to come to schools. in Punjab. Health Minister Balbir Sidhu suggested gap for the second dose to be reduced for the school staff to 28 days but Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan informed the meeting that the Centre had rejected the state’s request to allow them to be treated as essential services. The situation in schools in Punjab had remained under control with aggressive testing. As many as 3,21,969 school students along with 33,854 teaching and non-teaching staff samples have been taken in the month of August, across a total of 5799 schools, and a total of 158 cases have tested positive so far, which accounts for a positivity rate of only 0.05 per cent, the Chief minister added.