Lockdown no solution, says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh : The Tribune India

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Lockdown no solution, says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Asks six-most affected districts to tighten micro-containment, ensure 100 per cent testing

Lockdown no solution, says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

A worker carries medical oxygen cylinder to supply to COVID-19 patients at a refill plant amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the country in Jalandhar on April 29, 2021. Tribune file photo

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 30

Ruling out a complete lockdown for now, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday directed the DCs of the six worst-affected districts to further tighten the micro-containment strategy and ensure 100 per cent testing.

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Lockdown is not a solution as it will lead to exodus of the labourers and force them to go to states with even fewer medical facilities, said Captain Amarinder, directing the district administrations to enforce all restrictions strictly and to stop dine-in facility in all high positivity areas, with Covid testing of staff in restaurants by the Health Department.

Urging the industry to set up their own Covid treatment centres and makeshift hospitals to treat their own labourers suffering from mild/moderate infection, he stressed on teamwork to fight the Covid battle. He also directed the Chief Secretary to look into encouraging retired doctors and nurses, along with final year MBBS students, to rejoin for handling L2/L3 facilities, and suggested setting up of temporary healthcare facilities in halls/gymnasiums etc.

The Chief Minister was chairing a virtual emergency meeting to review the Covid situation in the six worst hit districts of Ludhiana, SAS Nagar (Mohali), Jalandhar, Bathinda, Patiala and Amritsar.

Expressing concern over the fewer number of containment zones in Mohali and two other districts that were among the most badly hit six districts, the Chief Minister ordered immediate steps to strengthen the containment and testing mechanism. Micro-containment strategy must be strictly implemented and encouraged, he said, directing all district officers to give this their highest priority to control the spread.

Even as he appreciated the good work being done by the officers despite these challenging times, the Chief Minister expressed concern over the fact that 14 districts in the state currently had over 10per cent positivity rate, while 5 had more than 60per cent bed occupancy.

A prefab 100 bedded hospital will come up at Mohali and a 250 bedded temporary hospital is being set up near the Bathinda refinery, with Oxygen supply from the refinery, he said, urging all departments to be prepared for the peak and identify areas in the various districts for establishment of temporary hospitals. While the occupancy at level 2 is still manageable, but the occupancy in Level 3 has already reached 82 per cent.  An additional 2000 beds are being added in Punjab with 600 beds being added at the GMCH Patiala, and Amritsar, he noted.

Taking note of the shortage of Fateh Kits, mainly on account of lack of Oxymeters, he acceded to the Chief Secretary’s suggestion to request recovered patients to return their Oxymeters for use in kits after proper sanitisation.

Dr KK Talwar, who heads the Covid expert group advising the state government,  said all hospitals had been provided detailed guidelines to check Oxygen wastage. Further, patients who are recovering well are being shifted to L2 to free L3 beds made available, he said.

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