Punjab has reported 1,515 new Covid-19 cases taking the total number of cases in the state to 1,97,755. With 20 new deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, the death toll has now reached 6,072.
The new cases come from the 30,949 samples collected, taking the total number of samples collected so far to 53,78,531. The total number of active cases in Punjab stands at 11, 550, according to the state health bulletin.
According to the health bulletin, 7 deaths were reported from Jalandhar, 4 from Sangrur, 3 from Hoshiarpur, 2 each from Kapurthala and Tarn Taran, one each from Ludhiana and SAS Nagar.
Chief Secretary Punjab, Vini Mahajan on Sunday held a meeting with Deputy Commissioners, Police Chiefs, Municipal Commissioners, Civil Surgeons and other officers to review the emergency measures to tackle the current peak in Covid-19 cases in Punjab. She exhorted the officers to spruce up all the necessary arrangements and remain in top gear to effectively tackle the recent upswing in the cases. She also asked all the districts to step up the testing to break the chain of transmission.
Mahajan also held detailed discussions with the medical experts and sought their opinion regarding measures required to contain the spread.
Punjab witnessed the first peak in September last year as it touched 2,896 cases per day followed by a second peak in November with 843 cases per day. She gave directions to the Department of Health to carry out Covid 19 vaccination at all designated hospitals on all seven days of the week and incorporate more public and private healthcare facilities, including all Government PHCs as vaccination centres.
Mahajan asked the Deputy Commissioners and the Civil Surgeons to advise the private hospitals falling under their jurisdiction to increase their Covid bed capacity and asked all unverified private hospitals to get the verification done. The identified private hospitals having adequate infrastructure and manpower to handle L-3 Covid patients may be asked to ramp up their bed capacity to the level of the first peak immediately. She said that the labs must maintain the testing of around 28,000 to 30,000 Covid samples per day and directed that 3 Government Medical Colleges must ensure the availability of sufficient L-2 and L-3 beds to match the level as during the first peak.
Mahajan also directed the Department of Health to ensure an adequate number of medical specialists in all the districts for Covid management and to immediately hire the additional requisite manpower like ward attendants, class-IV staff and drivers for ambulances, etc. and ensure full activation of all the L-2 facilities in all districts. She further said that as suggested by medical experts, the districts have been told to ask the private hospitals treating the level 2 and level 3 patients, to postpone routine elective surgeries for at least 2 weeks, to make way for additional requirements of Covid beds there. She said that night curfews have already been imposed in 8 districts and other districts were also advised to review the situation and take appropriate decisions accordingly.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine