May 22, 2021 6:59:25 pm
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said it was unfortunate that despite fervent appeals, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had done nothing to regulate treatment in private hospitals as well as cap the cost of tests in private laboratories for Covid-19. Badal demanded that keeping in view the current crisis, the government should immediately announce free treatment for all Covid patients in its hospitals.
The SAD President was addressing the media after inaugurating a 25-bed Covid Care centre — equipped with oxygen concentrators — at Guru Nanak College, Budhlada, district Mansa, that was built by the Shiromani Committee.
SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur said that this was the sixth such Covid centre that had started extending Level one and Level two services to the people. It was also announced on the occasion that Covid vaccines worth Rs 53 lakh had reached SGPC’s Guru Ram Das Medical College and that an inoculation drive would be started there shortly.
Sukhbir Badal said despite repeated requests to the Chief Minister to regulate the functioning of private hospitals; nothing was done to stop patients from being fleeced. He said Covid patients were not stepping out of their homes because adequate treatment was not available in government hospitals and the private institutions were charging extremely high rates which they cannot afford. “I request the chief minister to declare the pandemic a calamity and provide free treatment to people to control further spread of the disease”.
He also urged Congress legislators to raise similar demands in the interest of humanity. “The government might listen to you and come to the rescue of its people”, he added.
Badal also demanded that the Congress government purchase injections in bulk that is needed to counter the ‘Black Fungus’ disease, and offer them to patients free of cost. “Cases of Black Fungus are on the rise and they can be tackled only with injections that cost Rs 10,000 per dose every day. It is because of this that the disease is not being treated,” he said.
Meanwhile, the SAD President also claimed that gangsters were ringing up traders and industrialists in large numbers and extorting money from them forcibly. He said he had received complaints from Bathinda, Mansa and Ferozepur from traders stating they were receiving extortion threats from gangsters and were being forced to pay up as they had not been extended any protection by the police. “It is condemnable that the law and order situation in the state has collapsed in this manner during a period of crisis,” he added.
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