Haryana govt makes COVID-19 treatment free for BPL patients in private hospitals

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Chandigarh, May 21 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday announced that the state government will bear all expenses of COVID-19 patients belonging to below poverty line (BPL) category undergoing treatment in private hospitals.

Earlier, the state government had announced financial assistance of up to Rs 35,000 to BPL patients.

'All the BPL families who are not covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme would be eligible to get this benefit and the deputy commissioner will ensure that this financial assistance scheme reaches the grassroots level,' said the Chief Minister while chairing a COVID-19 review meeting with the DCs and administrative secretaries held through video-conference.

Giving further details, an official statement said Khattar told the DCs to ensure that every patient who is eligible for this benefit should get it on a priority basis.

Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, Health and Home Minister Anil Vij also joined the meeting from Chandigarh and Ambala, respectively.

Along with treatment of COVID patients, the CM said focus should also be put on making adequate arrangements to deal with the patients suffering from post-COVID complications, including keeping a close vigil on black fungus cases.

'Every DC has to now act like a field commandant and should ensure proper implementation of the schemes and strategies executed by the government to the grassroots levels,” he said.

Khattar was apprised by the officials that in the coming days a massive awareness campaign would be launched for the awareness of black fungus disease among the masses.

The Chief Minister while directing the DCs to keep a close vigil on the increase in the number cases of fungal infection, mucormycosis, commonly named as black fungus, said reserving at least 20 beds for the disease treatment should be ensured in all the medical colleges.

“The DCs should ensure that every hospital of their respective districts should share real-time data of the patients suffering from this deadly disease and the referral for such patients should be made in the medical colleges only,” he said.

Apart from declaring black fungus a notified disease, Khattar said they are setting up centres for its prevention and further constituting an expert committee to decide on the distribution of injection Amphotericin-B, a drug required to treat the disease.

The CM added that the state government is proactively focusing on ensuring timely treatment to the patients affected with this deadly infection along with making hands-on strategies to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting, Khattar reiterated that farmers, who are protesting against the Centre's new farm laws, should cooperate with the government in the fight against the pandemic and directed the DCs to make dedicated efforts to convince them in this regard.

Khattar said he had earlier urged the protesting farmers to immediately call off or suspend their stir so as to ensure that the chain of transmission of the virus is broken.

“This is the biggest crisis of humanity that we all have to fight together. This pandemic does not belong to any person, a city, or a class. This is the fight of the whole world,” said Khattar.

Notably, thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India have been protesting near various border points of Delhi for the past six months demanding rollback of the farm laws.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister directed vaccination of every team member involved in conducting door-to-door health screening in the rural areas under the Haryana Villagers General Health Checkup Scheme (HVGHCS) to be done on a priority basis.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister was informed that till date, 4,097 villages have been covered by these multi-disciplinary teams, covering 11,08,415 households and further health checkups of 47,57,036 people have been conducted.

It was informed by the officials that 284 people are undergoing treatment in village isolation centres.

Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan, Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister D S Dhesi, Additional Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner, Revenue and Disaster Management and Consolidation Department, Sanjeev Kaushal; Additional Chief Secretary, Power Department, P K Das, were among other officials present in the meeting. PTI SUN VSD HDA

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