In order to arrest the Covid fatality rate in Punjab, the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, on Friday directed the Health Department to further ramp up the ongoing vaccination drive so as to achieve the target of vaccinating 2 lakh persons per day as instructed by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
She announced a special fund of Rs 1 crore to every district for effective Covid management in the state. “There is no constraint of funds to fight the pandemic,” she asserted, while chairing a high-level meeting to review the current Covid situation in the state, here on Friday.
The Chief Secretary also directed the Health Department to observe two days (Tuesday and Friday) every week as mega vaccination days to cover the maximum people to defeat the virus. She also set the state’s weekly inoculation target to more than 16 lakh beneficiaries for the month of April.
Urging the eligible persons to get vaccinated at the earliest as vaccination was undertaken on all 7 days of week and no age limit was imposed for vaccination of health and frontline workers, she said the higher authorities can authorise the vulnerable employees from essential workers’ list for vaccination registration.
Chairing the meeting of Administrative Secretaries, Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Police, Senior Superintendents of Police and other senior officials of the state, the Chief Secretary directed the official machinery to increase the sampling to 50,000 per day, besides actively pursuing contact tracing to at least 20 persons per positive patient and test them as per the protocol so as to keep the further spread of virus under check.
The meeting was informed that 16 lakh persons have been vaccinated in the state so far and vaccination and adherence to Covid norms was the only way to prevent the further spread of the virus.
She directed the concerned departments to address the issue of vaccination hesitancy by undertaking well-planned media campaigns.
Asking for strict monitoring of home isolated patients, the Chief Secretary instructed the Health Department to optimally utilise manpower of other departments, if it faced shortage of staff. Health officials will ensure close monitoring of home isolated patients. They will visit every home isolated patient three times in ten days. If the condition of any patient deteriorates, the transfer to hospital in the fastest way possible will be ensured to bring down fatality rate, she emphasised.
Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Hussan Lal, apprised the Chief Secretary that 50,000 more Fateh kits were being procured for home isolated patients and there was no shortage of Covid vaccine in the state. He asked the district administrations to update eVin portal daily for seamless vaccination supply. “Geo-fencing of home isolated patients was being done through the COVA mobile app to prevent the infected person to mingle with others,” he added.
Assuring all possible help from the police force in the fight against Covid, the Director General of Police (DGP), Mr Dinkar Gupta, said as many as 65,611 police personnel have already got their first dose of Covid vaccine, which accounted for 79 per cent of the total police force. On the direction of Punjab Chief Minister, the police had been undertaking a drive to enforce appropriate Covid behaviour under which face mask violators were being taken to testing centres, besides challaning them.
The Additional Chief Secretaries Ravneet Kaur (Forests and Wildlife), Sanjay Kumar (Tourism and Cultural Affairs), Anirudh Tewari (Development), Seema Jain (Rural Development and Panchayat), Principal Secretaries KAP Sinha (Finance), DK Tiwari (Medical Education and Research) and other senior officials also attended the meeting.