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Need to scale down domestic flights to contain COVID-19: Balbir Sidhu

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Chandigarh, May 29, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in state as Punjab has registered only 2.8 percent positive cases among 72,468 samples, Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that there is need to reduce the domestic flights especially from Mumbai and Ahmedabad where higher numbers of COVID-19 cases have been reported.

Presiding over the review meeting of Health Department, Mr. Sidhu said that most of cases reported in Punjab are having the travelling history from other States and countries so as to prevent the community spread level, there is need to put focus on passengers especially coming from high risk states and countries.

He said that he will discuss this key issue with the Chief Minister in the Cabinet Meeting to be held at tomorrow. He said that it was on record, only 151 positive persons (not known) in the State those have not any travel history. Of the 99.9 percent contact tracing, 1476 persons have been found positive which is about 8 percent.

The Minister also issued the instructions in meeting to ensure the maximum sampling of passengers to trace the affected persons. He said that 40 unfortunate instances so far occurring mostly in patients over 50 years, almost all were afflicted with serious underlying illness like end-stage kidney disease and Cancer, HIV besides uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. He said that thorough audit of all deaths to be conducted to further control the death rate in Punjab.

Mr. Balbir Sigh Sidhu instructed the Director Health Services Dr. Avneet Kaur to table the file of vacant posts of Medical and paramedical staff, that would be put up in the next Cabinet meeting to overcome the shortage of staff.

He said that earlier people didn’t have the faith in health department but with the quality health services provided by the Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government in the health establishments, now they have full faith in state healthcare services.

Reviewing the immunization program, the Minister asked the meeting to ensure the 100 percent immunization of children so as to protect them from common diseases. He directed the Director Health Services (Family Welfare) Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur Johal to expedite the immunization program and the state level teams to be sent the districts where immunization rate is very low.

To achieve the 100 institutional deliveries, he said that the functioning of Mother & Child Health Care and government hospitals would be reviewed on daily basis. He also said that considering the present circumstances, all training sessions to be organized at district level or imparted through the telecommunication.

Observing the transmission season of dengue and malaria, the Minister instructed the State Program Officer, IDSP, the Health department has been battling tirelessly against COVID-19 and at the same time preparedness for testing and management of dengue, malaria and other vector borne diseases has to be ensured in the State.

The Minister asked in the meeting to further strengthen the management and control of COVID-19, the Punjab Government has enhanced the penalties in case of violation of instructions and guidelines issued to contain the spread of Corona virus. He said that the Civil Surgeons to be strictly ensured the compliance of guidelines in their jurisdiction.

Amongst the others present in meeting included Principal Secretary Mr. Anurag Agarwal, Secretary Health Mr. Kumar Rahul, Director Health Services Dr. Avneet Kaur, Director Health Services (Family Welfare) Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur Johal and OSD to Health Minister Dr. Balwinder Singh, Nodal Officer Dr. Rajesh Bhaskar and all Senior officers of Directorate Health Services.

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