Oximeters and testing dominated Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s address to the residents of Punjab on Saturday when he exhorted them to test at the earliest and stated that only early testing could save lives.
Attacking the AAP on its announcement to make available free oximeters in Punjab, Amarinder said, “These meters only check oxygen saturation in blood. And when it indicates low saturation, it could be too late. Hence, the solution lies in getting tested.”
Urging them not to be misled by the false propaganda being spread by the AAP or indulge in false bravado, Amarinder said, “These oximeters will not tell you if you have Covid or not, they just measure the oxygen saturation level in the body and low oxygen is not necessarily an indication of coronavirus,” he warned the people, exhorting them not to be misguided by the “vicious” propaganda of AAP.
Amarinder also rejected allegations of organ harvesting of Covid victims, as claimed on some videos that are viral on social media, saying “these rumours are totally baseless”. “Don’t fall prey to such false propaganda, which is being spread only to mislead you,” he appealed to the people, adding that the only reason bodies of Covid victims are touched and cremated by people wearing PPE suits etc is to avoid infection. “Our former President Pranab Mukherjee was also cremated in a similar manner because he was suffering from corona. Nobody wants to touch anyone suffering from Covid. Hence, no question of organ removal arose,” he said.
“Some `pakhandis’ (hypocrites/fakes) are trying to mislead you on social media with false information,” he said, urging the people not to ignore symptoms or self-medicate and delay testing as all deaths are taking place among Level 2 & 3 patients (advanced stage). The CM appealed to the people to follow the instructions of the government and the advice of the doctors to save themselves and Punjab.
Pointing out that while his government had already distributed 10,000 oximeters and was in the process of procuring another 50,000, he reiterated that use of these machines would not save lives. Going to the hospital only in case of low oxygen levels might be too late, warned the CM.
Stressing that this was not the time to indulge in politics but was the time to fight Covid together, Amarinder said unfortunately, AAP is busy politicising the crisis even after assuring the state government of their support. “Aren’t they ashamed?” he asked, adding that all parties should support his government and consider the disease a common enemy. “Won’t they support us if there is a war with Pakistan or China?”
The CM also trashed as false propaganda the AAP claims that Punjab was doing badly on the Covid front as compared with Delhi. The facts and figures totally expose these false claims, he said, pointing out that with 1.90 crore population, Delhi has 1.82 lakh cases while Punjab, with 2.80 crore population, has 60,000 cases. The deaths in Delhi are three-fold as compared with Punjab, he said.
Amarinder, however, clarified that he was not citing these numbers because he wanted Delhi to have more cases. “I pray to Waheguru that all states, including Delhi, should win the war against Covid and succeed in saving lives,” he said.
Noting that the whole world was going through difficult times, with the US witnessing a second spike and lakhs suffering in India due to Covid, Amarinder said while he was no doctor, projections given by experts were grim. Recalling how one channel in the US had mocked him for making predictions of deaths, he said his intent in being open about the projections of experts was to be open with the people of Punjab. “We have to fight together, it is our collective responsibility,” he added.
The CM pointed out that the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak had lasted for three years, claiming one crore lives in India alone. While times have changed and there is hope of early vaccine for Covid, the situation remains uncertain, he added.
Amarinder, however, assured the people that Punjab has no shortage of beds, medicines, ventilators or doctors to tackle the spike, which has been projected for September-October.
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