Second Covid wave placing Punjab is a certainty, says Amarinder

Chandigarh, November 21

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday offered all possible help to Delhi in managing its spiralling Covid cases, even as he lauded the “unsung heroes” of Punjab for their excellent work in handling the pandemic in the state, while assuring full preparedness by his government to augment health care facilities to prepare for a possible second wave of the pandemic.

Photo credit: Twitter/CaptAmarinderSingh

“Delhi is fighting a tough battle, and we are there to help, if needed. I have said that earlier also,” the Chief Minister said, while assuring all possible measures by his government to prepare for the second wave in Punjab.

While nobody knew when the second wave would strike Punjab, experience of the NCR and other states/regions showed it was an almost certain eventuality, he warned, expressing the confidence that the Health Department and OTS employees would once again rise to the occasion to meet any challenge.

Also read: CBI being exploited for politics, won’t allow it to enter Punjab without permission: Capt Amarinder

While it is the duty of the state government to support the health care and other frontline workers, many of whom had got infected and some had even lost their lives to Covid, the Chief Minister said it was also the responsibility of the people to actively partner the state in the fight against the pandemic by strictly following all safety norms.

He declared ‘Mask hi vaccine hai’ as the resolve of Mission Fateh for the next few months, till a vaccine against Covid came.

Digitally launching 107 Health and Wellness Centres (Tandarust Punjab Sehat Kendras) to boost health care infrastructure in the state, and provide health services to patients on their doorstep in both rural and urban areas, the Chief Minister lauded the efforts of the Health and Medical Education departments which had made these centres a success story in just three years.

Exhorting the people to join his government in making Punjab the No 1 state in health care, the Chief Minister said his government is focused on strengthening health care facilities, especially levels two and three, with the aim of saving lives through early testing and treatment.

Urging the people to avoid crowded places and not have large gatherings and social functions, he stressed the need to observe precautions, especially washing hands and wearing masks.

Listing the various measures taken by his government to manage the pandemic, he said besides record increase in testing facilities and health care for COVID patients in L-2 and L-3 health facilities, plasma banks had been opened and free Mission Fateh corona kits provided to patients undergoing home isolation.

During Covid-19 pandemic, PPE kits, N-95 masks and other logistics worth Rs 184.95 crore were supplied to all frontline health workers, while medicines worth Rs. 5.57 crore were provided to all the patients at L1, L2 and L3 facilties for Covid patients, the Chief Minister pointed out.

All Level 3 facilities were provided with ventilator support and oxygen cylinders were provided at all Covid care facilities, he said, adding that R-PCR, Rapid Antigen and TruNat tests had been made available for all suspected corona patients.

The Chief Minister said the new health and wellness centres would take Punjab’s health infrastructure to a new level of efficacy amid the Covid pandemic. These centres would go a long way in helping the state government to expand its health care outreach to a larger community of people across the state. Of the 3,049 centres planned in the state, 2,046 were now operational and 800 more would become operational in the next two months, with the remaining to be opened in 2021, he said.

Manned by Community Health Officers, Multipurpose Health Workers (male and female) and ASHA workers, these centres have been provided with facility of 27 medicines, six diagnostic tests and tele-consultation facilities, said the Chief Minister, adding that 54 lakh patients have been provided OPD services for hypertension, diabetes, etc.

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