Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Saturday constituted a seven-member Group of Ministers (GoM) to monitor the state’s preparedness in tackling coronavirus.
Amarinder, who is personally monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis, will hold a meeting every Monday to review and deliberate on the recommendations of the GoM, which will be led by Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra.
Besides Mohindra, the GoM comprises Medical Education and Research Minister OP Soni; Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa; Transport Minister Razia Sultana; Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu; School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla; and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu.
The group has been mandated to submit a comprehensive report to the chief minister after monitoring the entire situation on a day-to-day basis.
In addition, the health department will release a media bulletin every day, based on the suggestions and decisions of the GoM. The department has already issued a series of directions to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus and check its spread. Hospitals are on high alert, with specialised arrangements to tackle any exigency arising out of the crisis, which has engulfed the entire world, an iofficial spokesperson said.
Calling for strict vigilance against coronavirus, Amarinder also extended support to an appeal by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, to people to avoid large gatherings.
“Given the growing threat, it is in the interest of the people to exercise caution and avoid large congregations,” he said.
The CM appreciated Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpeet Singh for his appeal to the people not to take any risks with their health but to remain vigilant against the coronavirus threat.
He suggested that the auspicious ‘Hola Mohalla’ festival, scheduled to be held next week, may also be celebrated by paying obeisance in gurdwaras and other places in small numbers.
A total of 71,900 people have been screened for COVID-19 across Punjab so far. These include 48,867 people at Amritsar airport, 5,116 at Mohali international airport, 5,401 at Wagah-Attari Border and 12,516 at Dera Baba Nanak checkpost, Health Minister Sidhu had said on Friday.
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