The upsurge in daily coronavirus cases in Punjab is the result of people not following anti-Covid protocols, a visiting central team told the state government in a meeting on Sunday. A model that predicts the state will be reporting around 3,000 daily coronavirus cases by March-end was also discussed in another meeting earlier, a Punjab government statement read.
Punjab, which has the second highest active cases in the country after Maharashtra, reported over a thousand coronavirus cases last Friday after a lull of over three months.
The Centre had rushed high-level multidisciplinary public health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab last week over the surge in coronavirus cases.
"Dr Mandeep Bhandari, Joint Secretary to Government of India, who had recently visited Punjab as head of the Central team along with Dr Lakshmi from PGIMER, shared their observations that the COVID-19 spread in Punjab is not just specific to schools alone as other places are also affected, and the primary reason for surge in cases in the state is because people are not following Covid-appropriate behaviors and not religiously abiding the protocols," the statement read.
In a similar meeting in which Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan was also present, a senior official shared data on some super-spreader events like marriages, social gatherings and offices that resulted in greater exposure and increased positivity.
The official "also appraised the Chief Secretary regarding a model which predicts a huge surge in the number of cases starting mid-March to 3000 cases per day by the end of March."
During the meeting, the possible steps to tackle the surge were also discussed.
India on Monday reported 18,599 fresh cases.
The Centre has said that six states - Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu – account for 86.25 percent of the new cases.
The Punjab government last week announced night curfew in four districts to control the growth of the virus.