Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Monday reflected upon Punjab current COVID-19 situation and said that he is against the imposition of a coronavirus lockdown even as he predicted that the pandemic situation is expected to get worse in the state.
Mr Singh made the recent comment at a meeting in Chandigarh, a day after Punjab crossed the 7,000-mark and recorded the highest single-day rise since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic last year.
He also hypothesized that the situation is expected to worsen, especially in south Punjab, where Ludhiana district alone reported 1,300-plus cases on Sunday, reported NDTV.
In a meeting on Monday, Punjab CM said, while stringent measures are being taken to tackle the surge in cases, he is not “proposing” a lockdown in the state as it leads to economic problems and the exodus of migrant workers.
Most of the states in India decreed a slew of more stringent laws ahead of the rising Covid-19 cases forcing numerous businesses to observe a complete shutdown.
Earlier this month, Hundreds of migrant workers in Delhi and Mumbai on Thursday flocked railway and bus stations to return to their villages, as a record surge in coronavirus cases sparked fears of another lockdown in India.
Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh said at another meeting that the state government is making all efforts to secure medical oxygen to supplement its depleting stocks.
According to the recent NDTV report, the state is only getting 85 tonnes of the 105 tonnes of medical oxygen quota as the rest is being diverted to the PGIMER, Chandigarh, he said.
Mr Singh has also directed the Health Department to follow up with the Centre for vaccine supplies as the state presently has only 1.76 lakh Covishield and 22,000 COVAXIN doses left.
Amid the depleting oxygen supplies, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Sunday sent another SOS to the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, for the second time in two days, for an urgent increase in allocation of quota.
Earlier this month, the rural medical officers in Punjab threatened to boycott the Covid-19 duties if their demand for Dynamic Assured Career Progression (DACP) of cadre is not fulfilled. Demanding Pay revision and DACP of a cadre, Dr Jagjit Singh, state president, Association of Rural Medical Officers, threatened to go on strike if the demands are not met and – boycotting COVID duties from April 25.
Reacting to the threats made by the healthcare workers, Punjab CM said such actions will be met with dismissal “as we cannot tolerate this kind of nonsense in a war-like situation”.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen RP Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command, in a virtual meeting with the CM has offered to help the staff run a 100-bed COVID facility. In the meeting, it was proposed that a makeshift hospital can be set up at the building loaned to the state government by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
The recent NDTV report quoted Lt Gen RP Singh as he mentioned that 15-trained nurses have already been dispatched to Patiala to support the civic staff.
Furthermore, Army officials said that they will extend all possible help to Punjab to tackle the situation.
Mr Singh mentioned that the state government also aims at approaching the Union Home Ministry to provide manpower and ICU beds through the Border Security Force (BSF).
In a meeting hosted by the CM, Health Secretary Hussan Lal informed that 2,000 beds will be added at government and private hospitals. While 900 beds will be added at government medical colleges in Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot, 542 will be added at private colleges, he said, reported NDTV.