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Eye on third wave, Punjab aims for 60k daily Covid tests

On Saturday, the CM virtually inaugurated a Children’s Covid Ward as well as PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) Oxygen plants in Ludhiana and Faridkot, respectively.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
August 15, 2021 11:08:52 am
The chief minister has also ordered to increase testing from the current figure of 45,000 per day to at least 50,000 as part of preparations for a possible third wave.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered an increase in number of Covid tests to at least 60,000 per day. His statement comes amid projections that cases will double in about 64 days at the current growth rate.

On Saturday, the CM virtually inaugurated a Children’s Covid Ward as well as PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) Oxygen plants in Ludhiana and Faridkot, respectively.

Reviewing the state’s preparation for an imminent third wave, Amarinder directed the health department to undertake priority sentinel testing for OPD/IPD (outpatient department/inpatient department) patients at government and private hospitals, travellers at entry points, government offices, industries and labour colonies, staff at marriage palaces, restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms etc.

Based on this, districts should formulate strategies for micro-containment zones, he said, noting that GIS (Geographic Information System) based surveillance and prevention tool, with an auto trigger mechanism for localised restrictions, was now live in all districts and will help guide local restrictions, if needed.

Citing a study which had shown excellent vaccine effectiveness against the coronavirus, Amarinder directed the health department to gear up for full utilization of the additional vaccine supply, of which he had been personally assured by the Union Health Minister. He said more than half of the eligible population had already received one dose of vaccine, with the entire available stock being used without any wastage. The first dose has been administered to around 82 lakh people (40 per cent of state’s eligible population) and second dose to nearly 24 lakh people (11 per cent of eligible beneficiaries).

He urged all eligible persons to come forward to get themselves vaccinated.

As per a study to monitor Covid-19 Vaccine Effectiveness conducted by Dr Rajesh Kumar, former head of School of Public Health PGI, it has been found that vaccine has been effective in reducing positivity by 95 per cent, hospitalization by 96 per cent, and deaths by 98 percent.

The Covid Paediatric ward at Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, has 5 Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs) and 8 Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MISC) beds. The advanced ultra-modern PICUs are comparable with the best in the country, said the Chief Minister, thanking Vijay Munjal of Hero Ecotech Ltd, Ludhiana, and Dr Bishav Mohan from DMC&H (Dayanand Medical College & Hospital), for donating equipment worth Rs 20 lakh. The ward has ECHO (echocardiogram) and Cardiology backup from DMC&H. Dr Rupesh Aggarwal (Singapore) for Project O2 with Zeiss, India, donated 5 PICU beds. Other infrastructure facilities were provided by the Punjab government.

The CM announced that the government would be augmenting the PICU and Level 2 paediatric beds capacity in all 23 districts and 4 GMCHs to 1,104 paediatric beds.

The PSA Oxygen plants in Ludhiana inaugurated by the CM include 1,000 LPM (Litres per minute) each at ESI (Employees’ State Insurance) Hospital and Civil Hospital, and 500 LPM at Urban Health Centre, Vardhman. He also inaugurated a 2,000 litre PSA plant, sponsored by SPS Oberoi, at Baba Farid Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot. Captain Amarinder said a total of 76 PSA Plants (41 GoI supported and 35 donor supported) were being installed in the state.

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