Social distancing norms go for a toss as Punjab minister inaugurates lab in Patiala

Social distancing norms go for a toss as Punjab minister inaugurates lab in Patiala

The chaos at the inauguration site.

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 3

In times of Covid-19, social distancing norms went for a toss here on Wednesday when Medical Education Minister OP Soni inaugurated a lab.

The rules were flouted in the presence of senior officers, including the Deputy Commissioner, Civil Surgeon, and SSP at Government Medical College here.

The minister was here to inaugurate the new VRDL lab. As soon as the minister reached the lab for the inauguration, he was surrounded by doctors, police personnel, college staff and mediapersons, throwing the social distancing rules to the wind.

When asked about the violations at the event, a senior health officer said, “All are policymakers. They themselves should realise their responsibility and follow the guidelines.”

When an SHO, who was on the spot, was asked about it, he said, “We will issue challans only if the seniors direct us.”

The Health Department, meanwhile, restated that social distancing -- also called physical distancing -- meant keeping stipulated space between you and others when you are outside of your home. “To practise social or physical distancing, one should stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.”

The Director, Health Services, this week notified a penalty of Rs 2,000 for the violation of social distancing norms.

 

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