To ramp up the screening of symptomatic persons on war footing especially in rural areas of Punjab as well as to take stock of preparation being made at Govt. & Private COVID Care Centres, a virtual meeting was held on Saturday by Health Minister Punjab, Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu, with the Civil Surgeons of 11 Districts namely Ludhiana, SAS Nagar, Patiala, Bathinda, Sangrur, Mansa, Ferozpur, Ropar, Barnala, Muktsar and Fatehgarh Sahib.
While presiding over the meeting the Health Minister said that still, there is misconception among the people that they are suffering from the seasonal viral and typhoid etc. but ultimately when they reached the hospitals due to breathing complications, they are diagnosed with COVID-19 at later stage.
Expressing concern over these circumstances, he instructed the Civil Surgeons to intensify the screening drive in villages as 58 percent deaths have been registered in rural populations against 27 percent COVID-19 cases.
The Minister said that considering the high CFR of State, there is also need to keep close watch on the functioning of Private Clinics/RMPs in villages. He said that Senior Medical Officers must ensure the COVID testing of every single symptomatic person who are getting the treatment from such clinics.
If any private health facility has not shared the information concerning the symptomatic persons on routine basis, they must be booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act for violating Government‘s guidelines, he added.
Mr. Sidhu further instructed that all the Para Medical Staff be utilized to conduct survey of the rural populations and ensure that maximum sampling is to be done. He also stressed upon the need to provide timely Corona Fateh Kits to the home isolated patients as the recovery rate of HI is more than 98 percent.
The Civil Surgeons mentioned in the meeting that with the help of District Administration, all efforts are being made to further streamline the availability of oxygen in both the private and civil hospitals in the districts. The Health Minister directed the Civil Surgeons to prevent the wastage and unjustified use of oxygen in Hospitals. He said that dedicated audit teams have to conduct the surprise checking of all COVID Care hospitals and they must submit their progress report to the MD, Punjab Health System Corporation.
The Civil Surgeons were directed to coordinate any shortcoming with the Director Health Services so that timely and immediate concerns raised can be addressed.
Health Minister directed that there should be no shortage of medicines in the Civil Hospitals and also reviewed the Stock position of the Vaccines available. He said that the Civil Surgeons to ensure that maximum people are motivated to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest as it is single way out to save the high risk populations.
Keeping in view the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases, the Minister also asked to increase the beds in L2 and L3 facilities, he said that coming 15 days are very critical for Punjab and Punjab Government has put all efforts to save the precious lives that are afflicted with this deadly virus.