May 18, 2021 8:27:15 pm
The Punjab government on Tuesday announced a special development grant of Rs 10 lakh for every village that achieves a 100 per cent vaccination target under the state government’s ‘Corona Mukt Pind Abhiyan’.
Appealing to village heads across the state to lead the fight against Covid, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday urged the Panches and Sarpanches to motivate people to get tested even if they get the slightest symptoms.
Singh was interacting virtually with village Panchayats represented by more than 2000 heads/members, across over 4000 live locations in the rural parts of the state. He informed them that his government had already sanctioned the utilisation of up to Rs 5000 per day from Panchayat funds for emergency Covid treatment, up to a maximum of Rs 50,000.
Underlining the need to sensitize the rural populace about the harmful effects of Covid and the importance of early detection and treatment, the Chief Minister said special awareness campaigns should be held. He asked Panchayats to organise special medical camps, and to rope in the services of ex-servicemen in the fight against the pandemic.
Captain Amarinder also asked the village heads to start ‘theekri pehras’ to check the entry of infected people into their villages, as also to distribute Fateh Kits to every person who tests positive. He urged people living in villages to immediately quarantine themselves in case of any symptoms, and get themselves tested to ensure early detection. Any laxity or complacency on their part, he said, could lead to severe complications at a later stage, which often turns fatal.
Assuring village heads that the state had an adequate, extensive and robust health care system — comprising 2046 health and wellness centres, with another 800 to be made functional soon — he asked village heads to ensure people in rural areas get treatment at the earliest if they test positive.
The Chief Minister further said that the state was making all efforts to procure sufficient stocks of vaccine from various sources for inoculation of 18+ age group, besides constantly coordinating with the Centre for more vaccine doses for its population who are above 45 years. He said earlier, when the state government had adequate supply of vaccines, people were not forthcoming for inoculation. But now the trend had reversed, with people coming forward in huge numbers.
“I alone can’t do anything. I am the Captain and only the concerted efforts put in by the team will help us achieve our goal,” the Chief Minister said.
In Punjab, while the fresh cases had come down from a daily average of around 9000 to 6947, as of May 17, the death rate due to teh disease continues to be alarming as many people were reaching the hospitals late. This, he said, was evident from the fact that just 64 per cent of level 2 beds and 85 per cent of level 3 beds were occupied. ”
The Chief Minister exhorted villagers to strictly adhere to all health protocols issued by the state government and said that the state government had set up a 24×7 helpline number — 104 — for assistance. All the home isolation patients are being monitored through daily calls and were also being given food kits comprising 10kg atta, 2kg chana, 2 kg sugar for each member of the family, in addition to 10kg atta being provided by the Government of India. Apart from these, he said he had ordered 5 lakh food kits for the poor who are adversely impacted by Covid restrictions. He pointed out that the Punjab Police Bhojan Helpline ‘112’ was also responding to calls round the clock for providing food to Covid patients.
Earlier, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa requested the Panchayat Members to come forward to support the government’s efforts to control the Covid situation, especially in those villages where cases were on the rise. He also advised people of villages not to rely on quacks, but to consult doctors in the government primary health centres in the rural areas .
Health & Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the health department had already placed an order for 12 lakh kits for Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
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