Amarinder launches 'Covid fateh' drive to tackle pandemic in rural Punjab, state opens 100-bed facility in Sangrur

Singh launched the "Corona-Mukt Pind Abhiyaan" (corona-free village drive), asserting that there was an urgent need to "avoid the kind of situation, prevailing in Uttar Pradesh villages".
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh (File Photo | PTI)
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh (File Photo | PTI)

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Sunday launched what he described as "Covid Fateh" drive to tackle the spread of coronavirus in rural areas of the state.

Singh launched the "Corona-Mukt Pind Abhiyaan" (corona-free village drive), asserting that there was an urgent need to "avoid the kind of situation, prevailing in Uttar Pradesh villages".

The Punjab CM referred to the alleged spread of infection in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh amid his ongoing spat with his UP counterpart Yogi Adityanath over the making of the state's only Muslim-majority town in Sangrur district a separate district in Punjab.

It had drawn a sharp reaction from Adityanath who described the decision as "divisive and communal".

Dubbing Covid-Fateh as a "war that needed the involvement of all sections of the community", the Punjab CM asked the Health and Rural Development departments of the state to spearhead the campaign with large-scale mobilisation of village people.

The entire staff should be utilised to spread awareness among villagers against the dangers of Covid-19, he said.

The health and wellness clinics should become the fulcrum, the CM said, adding that community health officers, panchayats, school teachers, Anganwadi and ASHA workers, village police officers and youth volunteers must be mobilised on a large scale to steer the programme.

The Guardians of Governance, comprising ex-servicemen engaged to monitor enforcement of government schemes, and the police force should work closely to make this programme a success, the CM said.

The idea is to not just spread awareness and dispel myths but to ensure that adequate sampling and vaccination are being carried out in rural areas, he said.

Terming the "casual attitude of the people towards symptoms like cold and cough, which they do not report in time, as the biggest issue", Amarinder Singh called for early identification of infected people and to ensure their early treatment.

Symptomatic persons should be given basic medicines like paracetamol, cough syrups and vitamin C tablets at their doorsteps, he said.

They should be encouraged to get tested and supported in home isolation if they test positive, the chief minister said.

He directed the Health Department to provide additional Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits exclusively for testing in rural areas.

The Department should also consider opening Covid Care Centers (L1) where ever required, with the support of NGOs, he said.

Meanwhile, Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla on Sunday inaugurated a 100-bed facility equipped with oxygen concentrators and vital measurement monitors in Sangrur for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

He also set up a COVID-19 war-room that would provide round-the-clock assistance in terms of bed counts, oxygen concentrators, plasma donors, availability of blood, vaccine and medicines, according to a press statement.

"Sangrur is prepared to defeat Covid as we are procuring vaccine at a large scale and this 100-bed facility has been created to accommodate and treat mild to moderate patients. Medical staff will be available here round the clock to ensure that people need not run from pillar to post for basic requirements," he said.

"We are also launching three Covid medical vans fitted with oxygen concentrators that would visit distressed patients at their homes to shift them to the Covid care centre for treatment. Oxygen is the most sought-after thing these days, and we are in process to set up an oxygen plant in Sangrur to meet all medical requirements," added Singla, who represents Sangrur in the Assembly.

More than 1.28 lakh people have been vaccinated in Sangrur, according to government data.

Sangrur currently has an active caseload of 1,829.

In all, 12,009 people got infected with the virus and 549 of them succumbed to it.

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