Thursday, October 28, 2021

Punjab health minister warns people against AAP’s oximeters `game-plan’ to promote community spread

Trashing the AAP announcement on use of Oximeters in Punjab as a political gimmick, Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Tuesday warned of the massive potential of community spread of COVID due to repeat use of these Oximeters by multiple persons without proper sanitisation, which could be the possible game-plan of Arvind Kejriwal’s party.

Slamming AAP’s political theatrics in Punjab villages, Sidhu warned the people that the party was misleading them completely, just as they had done in Delhi, where the COVID situation was critical, with all the 11 districts of the national capital among the country’s 35 worst affected districts.

The use of the same Oximeter by more than one person without sanitization could lead to further spread of COVID-19, he pointed out, adding that AAP was promoting the oximeters as medicine or vaccine of COVID-19, while the fact was that it simply helps detect the Oxygen level in a person’s body. Perhaps their strategy was to promote the further spread of the pandemic in Punjab in order to persuade people to believe it to be a failure of the state government, he warned.

The disinformation campaign, which seemed to be deliberately spread by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to further their petty political interests in Punjab, was highly dangerous, the Minister warned, adding that it could trigger a huge risk of infecting more people and perhaps even triggering a massive community spread in the rural areas.

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AAP’s strategy to spread misinformation in Punjab had been completely exposed, with at least one of their party activists arrested for making viral a  false video on organ harvesting and testing, said Sidhu. Kejriwal’s announcement on AAP workers going around villages with Oximeters was aimed at further compounding the party’s vicious campaign, he added.

Instead of making pretensions of helping Punjabis, AAP should focus on managing COVID in Delhi, said Sidhu, adding that the party should concentrate their efforts on improving the COVID situation in the national capital under their rule. Delhi’s crisis was worsening by the day but AAP was so busy indulging in dirty politics in Punjab that they had virtually thrown Delhiites by the roadside, leaving them to fend for themselves amid the pandemic, he added, citing Delhi’s single-day spike of 3609 cases on Tuesday.

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The Minister pointed out that despite Delhi’s lesser population compared with Punjab, the number of deaths and active cases in the national capital was higher, exposing the total mismanagement of the COVID crisis by the Kejriwal government there. “If they cannot handle Delhi despite being in control there how can they help out the people of Punjab tackle the pandemic,” he asked.

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Given the gravity of the situation in the wake of the pandemic, any decent Opposition party would have come out in support of the government in fighting the crisis, said Sidhu. However, AAP, and in fact even the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were only interested in taking political mileage from COVID, he added, terming this behaviour as totally abominable.

Stressing that the only way to prevent Coronavirus spread was to identify the contacts of infected people and test them at the earliest, Sidhu said people should understand that Oximeter is not a treatment for COVID.

People who come in contact with corona patients and have mild symptoms should get tested immediately, said the Minister, urging them to wear masks, keep a distance of two meters from others and wash their hands frequently with soap as part of their lifestyle. That was the only way to save lives, which was the key to managing the pandemic, he said, urging people to strengthen the hands of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in tackling the crisis.

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