CHANDIGARH, (Raftaar News Bureau):
In order to ensure adequate supply of medical oxygen to the needy critical patients on life support, the Punjab Government has provided 147 oxygen concentrators to the worst-hit districts in the Malwa region of the state, which were reporting the maximum daily Covid positive cases and highest positivity rate.This was disclosed by the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, while chairing a high-level meeting to review the current Covid situation besides supply and demand of medical oxygen in the state, here on Saturday evening.Reaffirming the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s commitment to ensure proper treatment and care of each Covid patient and take all possible steps to conquer the much infectious and contagious second virus wave in the state, the Chief Secretary directed the Health and Family Welfare department to ensure 100 per cent testing in micro-containment zones as early detection can be helpful in saving the precious lives.She also instructed the department to immediately make functional 104 helpline 24×7 for medical oxygen requirements in the state.Ms Mahajan reminded the department to implement a complete ban on the elective surgeries and operation of oxygen consuming industrial activities forthwith to tackle the unprecedented health situation prevailing in the state.While reviewing the Covid situation with the administrative secretaries, Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Police and Senior Superintendents of Police in Barnala, Bathinda, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Muktsar, Patiala and Sangrur districts, the Chief Secretary ordered to further augment the medical oxygen supplies to the health facilities. She warned of stern action against the hoarding and diversion of medical oxygen supplies with zero tolerance against undue intervention in this regard. Expressing satisfaction over the current pace of Covid testing, which has already crossed the 50,000-mark daily, Ms Mahajan asked the Health department to keep up the pace of RT-PCR and RAT testing besides further ramping it up with strict monitoring of the home isolated patients. She further ordered to equip all the ambulances earmarked for Covid patients with medical oxygen cylinders and paramedical staff must be deputed to ensure the best possible care to the virus-infected persons being ferried in the emergency support vehicles. Lauding Mohali and Nawanshahr districts for ramping up the vaccination drive, the Chief Secretary said the battle against virus can only be won with the vaccine and appropriate Covid behaviour so all should stick to these measures. She asked all other districts to follow suit and immediately ramp up the vaccination drive to help control the virus surge. Principal Secretary Health Hussan Lal apprised the Chief Secretary that the state has sufficient stock of anti-viral Remdesivir and other essential drugs required for the treatment of Covid patients. “The department is tirelessly working day and night in its fight against Covid,” he asserted. Urging the people to wear masks and follow the Covid appropriate behaviour to keep the further spread of the global pandemic under check, the Chief Secretary asked the police and other departments concerned to ensure the strict compliance of the restrictions on weddings, public gatherings and other super-spreading events to save the situation from deteriorating further. The meeting was attended by the ACS Home Anurag Agarwal, Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce Alok Shekhar, Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research DK Tiwari, Health Adviser Dr KK Talwar, BFUHS Vice-Chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur and other senior officials from the inline departments. REVIEWS OXYGEN SUPPLIES, PROCUREMENT The Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, also held a separate emergency meeting with the official machinery to review the medical oxygen supplies and procurement in the state. She directed the senior officials concerned to ensure optimum utilisation of the available stocks and continue the follow-up action with the Centre and other states/ agencies to procure additional supplies to cater to the increased demand following the sudden influx of critical patients on oxygen support from other states to Punjab.