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With Punjab continuing to see an upward trajectory of daily new Covid-19 cases, the state police force is conducting strict checks at several points to ensure that all Covid-19 precautionary measures are being followed.

"Those who are found not wearing face mask are fined 1,000 and taken to a hospital for RT-PCR Covid test," inspector Bhagwat Singh of SAS Nagar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

A day earlier, the Ferozpur police were making people found without face masks undergo on-spot Covid-19 tests and giving free masks to them.

The penalty for violations of the guidelines has also been increased manifold.

The Covid-19 patients found flouting the home isolation rule will have to pay 5,000 as a fine, as per the new guidelines announced by the state government.

In addition to this, owners of restaurants and commercial eating places will be required to shell out 5,000 if the physical distancing norm is violated in their establishment.

The state government has also ordered a complete ban on social gatherings and related functions, except for funerals/cremations/ weddings, which will be allowed with only 20 persons in attendance.

A violation of this rule will attract a penalty of 10,000, state Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had announced.

The guidelines come in light of the state reporting over 2,000 cases for four days straight. As many as 2,587 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Punjab in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally to 2,10,466.

The disease also claimed 38 lives across Punjab in the same duration. With this, the death toll has gone up to 6,280.

The active cases have risen to 16,988, and 1011 more people were discharged, taking the number of recoveries to 1,87,198, according to a bulletin.

The state tested 38,963 samples for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.

The central government said on Saturday that Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 76.22% of India's total active caseload.

In view of this, the state government has decided to close all educational institutions other than medical and nursing colleges in the state till 31 March in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in the state.

The Punjab government also announced that the cinema halls will operate at 50% capacity and not more than 100 persons will be allowed in a mall at any time.

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