Saturday, October 23, 2021

Punjab CM orders 30,000 COVID tests per day amid apprehension of 2nd wave

Amid projections of a second Covid wave hitting Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday directed the Health and Medical Education departments to maintain the levels of testing at 30,000 a day and also ordered amendment in rules to enable direct recruitment of super specialist doctors to meet shortfall of medical staff.

Chairing a high-level virtual meeting to review the pandemic situation in the state, the Chief Minister asked Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to work on amending the rules for ensuring direct recruitment in super speciality departments to prevent any weakening of the Covid battle.

The Chief Minister directed the concerned departments to ensure that at least 25000 RT-PCR and 5000 Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are conducted every day without any laxity in this regard. The current decline in cases notwithstanding, the situation remains grim with a second wave expected to hit the state, he said, stressing the need to strictly follow all Covid safety and behavioural protocols. He directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to crack down heavily on those not wearing masks or not adhering to social distancing and other norms.

Captain Amarinder underlined the need to focus specially on potential super spreaders. Government employees must be tested routinely, and with schools and colleges opening up, it was important to make proper schedules and enhance the number of mobile teams for testing, he said.

Expressing concern over the high mortality rate in the state, the Chief Minister asked the medical experts team headed by Dr KK Talwar to evolve effective strategies to tackle the problem, caused mainly by late admissions/treatment, co-morbid complications, lack of adherence to guidelines with regard to use of drugs in some hospitals, lack of expertise and monitoring modalities, among others.

Dr Talwar apprised the Chief Minister of the steps taken to strengthen Covid management facilities in the state, including evaluation of L-3 facilities currently in progress by an expert team from PGI.

Health Secretary Hussan Lal informed the meeting that data received from certain hospitals and analysed by experts from PGI and AIIMS showed higher mortality among patients having significant co-morbidities and old age but the data was inconclusive for establishing other factors.

While overall number of cases had declined in the state, 11 districts had shown increase in positivity rate in the past four weeks, he said, identifying them as Rupnagar, Bathinda, SAS Nagar, Faridkot, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Mansa, Amritsar, Moga, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Sangrur. He further disclosed that currently 1600 patients were in home isolation in the state.

The department, said Hussan Lal, had enhanced IEC activities during the festival season regarding Covid appropriate behaviour to create awareness about early testing/management, wearing of mask, hand hygiene and social distancing.

DK Tiwari, Secretary Medical Education & Research, said positivity rate in Punjab had remained below 2% since October 11. In terms of deaths, those over 60 years of age constituted about 35% while those with co-morbid conditions were 82.4% of the total Covid deaths reported from November 1 to 7.

Latest news

BTS leaves Sony Music for Universal, world’s biggest music label

South Korea's BTS has signed a new distribution and marketing deal with Universal Music Group, the world's biggest music label, dropping Sony Music's Columbia...

“Unjustified”: Aryan Khan says NCB officer misinterpreting whatsApp chats

Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, in his plea in the Bombay High Court seeking bail, has said the NCB was...

Ash Barty pulls out of remaining 2021 WTA season to focus on Aus Open 2022

Aussie tennis champion Ash Barty has officially decided to pull out of the remainder of the 2021 WTA season, including the $US14 million ($A19m)...

$25m community sport boost; NSW stresses on need to get global students back

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced a $25m boost for community sport - and said he wants students to be brought back to the...

Related news

MUST READ  Five more coronavirus cases detected in Victoria taking tally to 35

BTS leaves Sony Music for Universal, world’s biggest music label

South Korea's BTS has signed a new distribution and marketing deal with Universal Music Group, the world's biggest music label, dropping Sony Music's Columbia...

“Unjustified”: Aryan Khan says NCB officer misinterpreting whatsApp chats

Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, in his plea in the Bombay High Court seeking bail, has said the NCB was...

Ash Barty pulls out of remaining 2021 WTA season to focus on Aus Open 2022

Aussie tennis champion Ash Barty has officially decided to pull out of the remainder of the 2021 WTA season, including the $US14 million ($A19m)...

$25m community sport boost; NSW stresses on need to get global students back

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced a $25m boost for community sport - and said he wants students to be brought back to the...

Eddie Obeid ordered to go to jail tomorrow morning to begin 7-yr sentence

Disgraced former Labor minister and convicted criminal Eddie Obeid has been ordered to go to prison to begin his sentence after being jailed over...

Postponed Eng vs India 5th Test will be held in July 2022, says ECB

The fifth Test match between England and India, which was earlier called off due to a Covid outbreak in the Indian camp, will now be played in July...

Actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shoots and kills cinematographer on film set

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer and wounded a director when he discharged a prop gun on a movie set in New...

CBSE replies after Punjab CM criticises move to keep Punjabi out of major subjects

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Friday clarified that all regional languages have been kept in the category of minor subjects for...