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Punjab chief secretary holds meeting with officials as COVID cases rise in state

Vini Mahajan asked the officials to spruce up the necessary arrangements and remain in top gear to effectively combat the up-swing in infections.

Published: 15th March 2021 09:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2021 09:46 AM   |  A+A-

Commuters not adhering to COVID-19 norms wait at a bus stop during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in Patiala Saturday March 13 2021. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan on Sunday held a meeting with deputy commissioners, senior police officials, municipal commissioners, civil surgeons and other officials to review the measures to tackle the current surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.

Expressing concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, she exhorted the officials to spruce up the necessary arrangements and remain in top gear to effectively combat the up-swing in infections.

She also directed the district administrations to step up the testing of the contacts of coronavirus infected persons to break the chain of transmission.

Mahajan also held detailed discussions in the meeting with medical experts and sought their opinion regarding measures required to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Twenty more people died of COVID-19 in Punjab, pushing the death toll to 6,072, while 1,501 fresh coronavirus cases took the infection count to 1,97,755 on Sunday.

According to an official statement here, Mahajan, in the meeting, said the state had also witnessed a surge in cases in September and November last year.

She gave directions to the Department of Health to carry out COVID-19 vaccination at all designated hospitals on all seven days of the week and incorporate more public and private healthcare facilities, including all government primary health centres as vaccination centres.

Mahajan asked the deputy commissioners and the civil surgeons to advise private hospitals falling under their jurisdictions to increase their COVID bed capacity.

She said the laboratories in the state must maintain the testing of around 28,000 to 30,000 COVID samples per day, the statement said.

She directed that three Government Medical Colleges must ensure the availability of sufficient beds.

Mahajan further said, "As suggested by medical experts, the districts have been told to ask the private hospitals treating the level 2 and level 3 patients, to postpone routine elective surgeries for at least two weeks, to make way for additional requirements of COVID beds."

The chief secretary informed that a night curfew has already been imposed in eight districts of the state and other districts were also advised to review the situation and take appropriate decisions accordingly.

She appealed to people of the state to shun complacency and adopt COVID appropriate behaviour and help the government in tackling the pandemic.

She said the state has already closed the schools and the anganwadi centres, imposed restrictions on indoor and outdoor social gatherings to 100 and 200 people respectively.

While apprising the chief secretary regarding the status of COVID-19 vaccination, Principal Secretary, Health, Hussan Lal said nearly 50 percent healthcare and frontline workers have been inoculated with the first dose, while second dose is also being given to beneficiaries upon the completion of the stipulated period, respectively, the statement said.

He said that the state has received 19.15 lakh doses of Covishield and 1.37 lakh doses of Covaxin so far.

Lal said the field officials have been maintaining the contact tracing to around 20 persons per positive case, adding the COVID testing of all the contacts need to be ensured.

Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said the police force is working hard to ensure compliance of COVID protocols.

He apprised that police are challaning persons violating COVID protocols, the statement said.



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