March 19, 2021 9:42:49 pm
Close to 70 per cent of the registered private facilities in Punjab are yet to administer even a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The startling fact came to fore in a review meeting of the state Covid task force, following which Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh directed the respective district administration to crack the whip on such hospitals.
As per an official statement, CM was informed that of 1,291 registered private facilities, 891 (or 69 per cent) have reportedly not administered a single dose. Expressing concern over the low vaccination numbers in the state, Amarinder directed the authorities to come down heavily on such hospitals, stressing that private health facilities need to join the government’s battle against coronavirus.
The CM also asked all private and government hospitals to offer hassle-free vaccination services for at least eight hours daily till March 31. “There should be no requirement of a separate certificate if an eligible person aged 45 and above brings a medical record regarding co-morbidities,” he directed.
Charges for the vaccination in private health care institutions must be publicised and overcharging should not be permitted, he directed the Health Department, asking it to ensure the coverage of all frontline workers, including all those who provided essential services or were on Covid duty during the curfew and the lockdown
He also asked all elected and local leaders to make efforts to reach out to the public and address vaccination hesitancy.
Amarinder said the state has consistently remained at the 18th position in terms of the Covid numbers. Though the death rate has been a matter of concern, at 206 deaths per million population, Punjab compares well against Delhi at 542 and Maharashtra at 431, he added.
“However, it is a matter of concern that after bringing the problem under control by the end of the last year, the state is again seeing a surge for the last one month. From a low of around 200 cases daily and deaths in single digits, Punjab has gone to around 2,000 cases per day and the deaths are also increasing,” he said.
“We have to be prepared for this second surge,” said Amarinder, pointing out that the 1918 Spanish flu had four spikes. “We have to be prepared for a long battle,” he warned, but added that the government is fully prepared to deal with the second wave.
In the meeting, Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner said the administration was making it mandatory for chemists and private practitioners to report people who come for treatment with flu symptoms.
He urged the chief minister to empower the Transport Department to issue challans in case of mask violation.
Pointing to five per cent positivity rate in the district this month, the Patiala deputy commissioner said more cases were being reported from the Patiala civic body area. The district administration will increase sampling to 4,000 a day in the next couple of days, he said, adding that the next two weeks are critical.
DCs of Mohali and other districts also updated the chief minister on the situation as well as the measures being taken to check the coronavirus spread.
Hospitals told to postpone elective surgeries
The CM said hospitals, where serious Covid-19 cases are best handled, have been advised to restore the Covid beds and postpone elective surgeries.
The phone numbers and names of the Covid monitors, who are appointed at every establishment and office, should be available with the district administration, he said, adding they will be responsible for ensuring Covid-appropriate behaviour at their respective organisations.
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