Finding it hard to deal with the massive spike in Covid-19 positive cases across the state, the Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday decided to switch to a five-day work week. Government employees across the state will have to work from office for five days, while they will be allowed to work from home on the sixth day of the week.
After conducting a high-level meeting with top officials, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur told Outlook, the state cabinet felt the move was necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The meeting was attended by state health minister Dr Rajiv Saizal, irrigation and public health minister Mahender Singh, urban development minister Suresh Bhardwaj and by chief secretary Anil Khachi.
The state government has also capped the number of people allowed to attend social, political and religious gatherings at 50 and the cabinet has decided to modify the timings of night curfew.
"We will not allow more than 50 people to attend any kind of gathering, be it a wedding, political rally or a religious congregation. It is a known fact that weddings mainly contributed to the massive spike in cases in the state. People showed complete disregard to social distancing norms and did not wear masks,” the chief minister said adding that the limit will be applicable to outdoor as well as indoor gatherings. Earlier, the government had capped the number of people attending indoor events at 100 and at 200 for outdoor events.
“Based on public feedback, we have also modified the timings of the night curfew in four districts—Shimla, Mandi, Kangra, and Kullu. From now on, curfew will be imposed from 9pm to 6am,” the CM said adding that positive results were noticed ever since the night curfew was imposed.
“We are also making efforts to encourage people to immediately get tested if they find themselves suffering from any Covid-19 symptoms. With regards to this, I am writing to all MLAs directing them to reach out to their constituents,” the CM said.
Thakur also said the state cabinet addressed the issue of shortage of oxygen supply in hospitals during the meeting.
“I have directed district authorities and heads of all medical colleges and hospitals to augment bed-capacity, set up five make-shift Covid-19 centres and increase staff to ensure better conditions and facilities for Covid-19 patients,” he added.
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