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Under Capt Amarinder’s leadership Punjab fully prepared to tackle any COVID related exigency: Vini Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 25, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

In light of rising number of COVID cases in some districts, the Punjab Government is fully geared up to effectively deal with the further spread of Coronavirus with 6190 beds dedicated for treatment of COVID patients in both Government and Private hospitals at Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala.

Taking stock of the medical infrastructure and arrangements in hospitals across the state in health institutions, the Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan divulged that the State Government was well prepared with requisite bed capacity, ventilators in hospitals besides having adequate arrangements of PPE kits, masks and testing kits to deal with increasing COVID cases.

The Chief Secretary further informed that though the situation was under control and people need not to panick and urged the people to strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols including social distancing, proper wearing of masks, washing hands frequently etc to contain corona virus.

The Chief Secretary, who also heads the all important State COVID19 Management Group, mentioned that senior officer of civil administrations had been deputed as Nodal Officers in all the districts with senior IAS officers Sumit Jarangal and Tanu Kashyap deputed as state nodal officers to oversee the daily number of cases to make available the requisite medical infrastructure well in time.

The Group, set up on the directives of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh who is monitoring situation daily, is an inter-sectoral group to ensure synergized efforts from all departments and stakeholders.

Under the group to achieve better coordination, sub-committees were put into place to ensure quick and clear decision making, providing an immediate and dynamic response to every issue including the health strategy such as Health Sector Response and Procurement, upgradation of Health Sector Infrastructure, COVID Care Centres, Augmenting Human Resources and Capacity Building, Tele-Counselling Services.

Notably, a State Public Health Advisory Group under the Chairpersonship of Dr KK Talwar has also been constituted with the State Epidemiologist as the Convener.

She stated that the Deputy Commissioners had also been tasked to liaison with private hospitals in districts to increase the availability of dedicated beds for treatment of COVID patients, which had so far resulted in ensuring nearly 2000 beds. She also revealed that the aggressive testing had already been initiated in the hotspot districts to further keep the coronavirus under check.

For level 2 and 3 combined as many as 5000 beds are already available across state, Vini Mahajan reiterated adding a dedicated group of medical experts has been constituted in every district to ensure that patients are admitted/ treated as per their medical requirements i.e. including ‘Reverse Referral’ meaning thereby a patient no longer requiring a ventilator in L3, but still requires management and treatment can be shifted to an L2 facility.

On the directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the State Government has already augmented its Covid care capacity for mild asymptomatic cases under 60 years of age, with operationalisation of new Level-1 Covid Care Centres (CCCs) with total capacity of 7520 beds in 10 Districts. Similar centres with 100 beds each, would be opened soon in the remaining 12 districts, the Chief Secretary further added.

Vini Mahajan said that the new CCCs have already been made functional with following bed capacities in 10 districts like Jalandhar (1000), Amritsar (1000), Patiala (470), Bathinda (950), Ludhiana (1200), Sangrur (800), S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali (500 bed capacity at Gian Sagar Hospital and 1000 bed capacity at Chandigarh University), Pathankot (400), Fazilka (100) and Faridkot (100).

These centres are running in Meritorious Schools or other institutions to the capacity of 7000 beds which can be enhanced to 28000 beds if the cases surge further. They are being managed by District Administrations and Health Department and are being used to keep positive patients having none of any symptoms, and without any co-morbidity like chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, in isolation.

The Chief Secretary said that state had already chalked our surge plan, which could be put in place in case of exigency, if any, in coming days.

Elaborating the finances being incurred against COVID management, the Chief Secretary informed that over Rs. 300 crore had been spent by the State Government on COVID care and migrants across the state.

For Jalandhar, which reported maximum cases of COVID, administration has made arrangements of 615 beds for the treatment of level-2 patients and 85 for level-3 patients besides adding 43 ventilators in the Hospitals, the spokesperson said giving further details.

Likewise, as many as 402 beds for level-2 patients in the government health facilities including 312 beds in civil hospital, 90 in CHCs besides 28 beds and 10 ventilators for level-3 in Civil Hospital are available besides ensuring the facility of piped oxygen supply in these facilities, the spokesperson added.

Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) had offered 110 beds for level-2 and 10-beds for level-3 patients while the New Ruby, Mann Medicity, Gulab Devi and Joshi Hospitals had also offered 22 beds for level-2 and Eight beds for level-3 patients in Gulab Devi Hospital whereas 270 beds were available in Military Hospital and 50 in BSF Hospital besides several other private hospitals offering beds ranging from 5 to 50 in number.

Similarly, District Administration Ludhiana had made total 1850 beds available in both government and private hospitals till date, which could be increased to 3000 at one week’s notice. Apart from these, 1500 beds in different educational institutions have already been identified, which could be utilised in case of emergency or further rise of cases, if any.

Likewise, in Patiala 3640 beds are exclusively made available for COVID patients including 650 in Rajendra Hospital, 150 each at MCH Nabha, Samana and Rajpura, 240 in Army Hospital, 20 at Jail ward & Gynae Ward while the remaining number of beds had been identified at local COVID Care Centres setup at Meritorious School, Punjabi University, Thapar University, Law University and officers Guest House and total capacity in private hospitals is 91 (through MoU), the spokesperson added.

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