To further strengthen the De-addiction Programme, the dedicated IT cell will be set up in collaboration with Directorate Governance Reforms.Disclosing this here today, Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that a meeting was held to discuss the measures required to upgrade the Central Registry Online Portal to ensure the proper treatment of drug abuse patients through De-Addiction Programme across the State.Mr. Sidhu informed that till March 31, 2020, a total of 6.45 lakh patients have been registered with Govt. as well as private de-addiction centres and OOAT Clinics. Before the lockdown (22-03-2020) this figure was just stood at 4.14 lakh.Therefore, in a major relief for the victims of drug abuse during these challenging times of Novel Corona virus (COVID- 19), Punjab Government under the dynamic leadership of Capt. Amarinder Singh, Health & Family Welfare department has been remained committed to provide quality services to patients of drug abuse. Health Minister said that the de-addiction treatment services are being provided in 35 Govt. De-addiction centres & 200 Govt. OOAT clinics. These services are also being provided in 10 Central Jails and 1 Special jail for jail inmates. He said that patients who are coming in Govt. de-addiction centres and OOAT clinics are given treatment services free of cost.Efforts are being taken to taper off the dose of the patients coming to these centres after thorough counseling he said adding 155 Private De-addiction Centres have also been authorized in the state for extending treatment services to the patients which depend on their own choice.The meeting was attended by Mr. Amit Kumar, IAS, Special Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Punjab, Dr. Gurinder Bir Singh, Director, Health & Family Welfare, Punjab, Mr. Parminder Pal Singh, PCS, Director, Governance Reforms, Mohali, Punjab and Dr. Anu Chopra Dosajh, Programme Officer, Mental Health Cell, O/o DHS, Punjab.