Giving a clarion call to make successful Mission Fateh 2.0 under Corona Mukt Pind Abhiyaan launched by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh recently, the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, on Saturday asked the Health and all other departments concerned besides the district administrations to pull out all the stops to free the state’s villages of Covid by ramping up the testing, tracing, treatment, vaccination drives, and reaching out to each and every household in the rural areas.
She ordered the officials to immediately provide oxygen concentrators at select rural government hospitals and asked the district administrations to take stern action against the private hospitals found fleecing Covid patients.
She also directed the Health department to immediately share the protocol prepared by the experts for black fungus treatment with all the government and private hospitals in the state.
Ms Mahajan was chairing a high-level meeting of the administrative secretaries, Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Police, SSPs and health officials to review the current Covid situation in the state.
Taking serious note of the complaints received against some private hospitals charging exorbitantly from Covid patients, the Chief Secretary ordered to take stringent action against such hospitals who were taking undue advantage of Covid patients and overcharging them.
Adopting a zero tolerance towards unethical practices, she directed the authorities concerned to debar the erring hospitals, if needed, and file FIRs against them as no one should be allowed to exploit the Covid patients during this pandemic.
She also asked to provide oxygen concentrators at select community health centres in rural areas and towns for the success of the Mission Fateh 2.0.
On the reports of Covid patients falling prey to the black fungus (mucormycosis) in the state, the health and medical education adviser to the state government, Dr KK Talwar, said this disease was not new but in recent days, the number of patients suffering from this disease has increased significantly, which was a matter of concern. He informed that the Punjab government has already notified black fungus as an epidemic disease and issued a complete protocol/ chart for the treatment of this disease with the advice of top specialist doctors in the country. He explained that the main cause of this problem was early and excessive use of steroids in immune suppressed patients.
Emphasising on providing immediate treatment to Covid patients suffering from black fungus, the Chief Secretary asked the Principal Secretary Health, Hussan Lal, to immediately share this protocol with all the government and private hospitals in the state. She asked him to notify the panel of hospitals treating this disease and issue a list of hospitals in this regard.
The Chief Secretary also asked Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research DK Tiwari to ensure proper treatment of black fungus in medical colleges across the state.
Referring to the reports that some states were not revealing the exact statistics of Covid mortalities, the Chief Secretary said the death figures of Covid patients in Punjab were being registered in the hospitals with most accuracy and uploaded on the central portal with utmost sincerity and such figures were not being fudged in any district, at least in Punjab, and directed all concerned to ensure this going forward also.
On the testing, tracing and monitoring of Covid positive pregnant women and their families, the Chief Secretary was informed that in rural areas, asha workers, anganwari workers and community health officers at health and wellness centres have been asked to personally contact such patients and in urban areas, concerned civil surgeons and SMOs would ensure proper follow up of such Covid symptomatic women and their family members. Besides, the state Health department was already providing telemedicine facilities for treatment of such patients.
Ms Mahajan announced opening a tele-consultation clinic in Chandigarh from May 25 where five doctors from different faculties would provide online medical advice to the pregnant women about Covid treatment.
To ensure rigorous implementation of Mission Fateh 2.0 in the state, the Chief Secretary asked the DCs and health officers to initiate house-to-house screening for symptomatic and testing of all family members besides isolation and treatment of positive patients as per the protocol. She also asked them to set up Covid care centres (L-1) at local level in the villages and towns in collaboration with the NGOs, CSOs and volunteers etc.
Sharing details, Principal Secretary Health, Hussan Lal, informed that of the total 4,95,689 samples collected during this week, only 45,246 have been found positive for Covid, bringing down the state’s positivity rate to 9.1 per cent.
According to the official data, 1,413 deaths were reported during this week from May 15 to May 21 at the case fatality rate (CFR) of 3.1 per cent.
Hussan said there was no shortage of beds for patients in Level-2 and 3 government and private hospitals in the state.
He further informed that the Union Government was expected to send the allocated quota of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines for vaccination of preferential age groups in the month of June. He asked all the health officials to upload the vaccination data on the Cowin and Cova mobile app with immediate effect and also ordered to keep the wastage of vaccines at less than one per cent.
Giving details of the proper enforcement of the Covid guidelines in the state, Punjab Director General of Police (DGP), Mr Dinkar Gupta, disclosed that 25 lakh people have been challaned for non-wearing of masks and Rs 12 crore fine has been imposed on 1.3 lakh violators in the state since March. He said 4,300 FIRs have been filed against the lockdown violators and almost 5,000 people have been arrested so far. Moreover, ‘thikri pehras’ were also being organised at night in around 60 per cent of the villages in the state to curb the further spread of Covid in the rural areas of the state.
Underlining the need to ramp up the ongoing vaccination programme to contain the further spread of Covid, the Chief Secretary expressed satisfaction over the declining number of deaths and falling number of daily Covid cases in the state. She asked all the deputy commissioners and health officers to bring down the positivity rate from ten per cent to 5 per cent by ensuring strict enforcement of the protocols issued by the state government for the prevention of Covid.
Principal Secretary Local Government, Ajoy Kumar Sinha, informed the meeting that the WhatsApp Chatbot launched by the Chief Minister was running successfully and so far more than 3,900 people have been benefitted in various ways after they registered their grievances on it.
Incharge Oxygen Control Room, Rahul Tewari, informed that there was no shortage of medical oxygen in the state at present. He asked all the deputy commissioners and health officers to procure written information from the hospitals in the districts regarding the required supply of medical oxygen within the next 4 days so that the procurement arrangements could be assessed and made as per the future requirement.