Taking another step towards facilitating the critical Covid patients gasping for life and in order to further ramp up the health facilities to conquer the devastating second virus surge, the Punjab Government has provided 809 more ventilators to the districts in the state.This was disclosed by the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, after chairing a high-level meeting to review the current Covid situation and vaccination status in the state, here on Sunday.She directed all the Deputy Commissioners to install the new ventilators today itself and ensure that not even a single oxygen concentrator and ventilator remain unutilised. She also ordered to impose work from home for private offices so that the chain of Covid transmission could be arrested.Addressing the Administrative Secretaries, Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Police, Senior Superintendents of Police and Civil Surgeons through video conferencing, the Chief Secretary directed all the departments concerned to put in their best efforts to break the chain of virus transmission, besides increasing the number of Level-2 and Level-3 beds to provide the best possible care to serious Covid patients as 14 of the total 22 districts have been showing more than 10 per cent positivity rate.She reiterated that the work to set up two makeshift hospitals equipped with ICU facilities exclusively for Covid patients in Mohali and Bathinda has been taken up on the war footing and they will be made functional by the end of this month.Urging the private hospitals to participate in the fight against the pandemic more actively, the Chief Secretary ordered the DCs to extend every possible support to increase bed capacity in the private hospitals. “Strict enforcement of restrictions should be ensured in true spirit to save the precious lives from deadly virus,” she emphasised.
Taking note of Delhi and NCR region patients heading towards Punjab for treatment, the Chief Secretary said the outsider patients should also be treated equally in the state.Sharing that the Punjab Government was coordinating with the Union Government to get additional medical oxygen supplies from Bokaro and other parts of the country besides the state enhancing its own production, Ms Mahajan asked the departments of Industries and Medical Education and Research to further ramp up the production of life-saving gas besides ensuring seamless and hassle-free medical oxygen supplies to the state’s medical colleges and hospitals. “No holding back of empty oxygen cylinders should be allowed at any cost,” she asserted.Instructing strict monitoring of home isolated patients as 80 per cent patients were home isolated, the Chief Secretary said the Health department will ensure two-time tele-consultation of the high risk patients above the age of 50 years or those with serious comorbidities daily and a health team will visit such patients every second day.“As many as 1,000 food kits would soon be provided to each district. Fateh kits and food kits must reach the patients on the same day of their testing positive,” she stressed.The Chief Secretary said all the health and frontline workers should be inoculated irrespective of their age. She categorically said the oxygen, Remedisivier and Tocilizumab should not be prescribed to patients directly and these should be administered within the hospital settings and it should be the duty of the hospital to ensure availability of these essential items and must not ask the patients or their attendants to arrange the same from outside at their level.Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare, Hussan Lal, apprised the Chief Secretary that the Expert Group set up for preparing vaccination strategy to 18-45 year age group has submitted its first report. He also informed that the state would get 3,29,830 doses of Covid vaccine for launching Phase-III of vaccination drive soon.Sharing the current Covid status in the state, he apprised the Chief Secretary that last week on an average 6,532 cases were reported daily with overall positivity rate of 11.7 per cent, while the count of daily cases remained 2,896 during the first peak in the state during September last year. He added that 2,000 more beds will be added to the existing bed capacity of the government and private medical colleges and district hospitals in the state soon.Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research, DK Tiwari, informed that final year MBBS, Dental and Nursing students are now available for Covid management duties as notified by the BFUHS.Sharing details of enforcement activities, the Director General of Police (DGP), Mr Dinkar Gupta, informed that a special enforcement drive was underway to implement the Covid appropriate behaviour under which 1,930 challans had been issued for non-wearing of face masks, 123 FIRs had been registered and 134 persons had been arrested for violating Covid norms in the state during the last 24 hours.