Punjab Cong chief Jakhar forms panel to help people hit by 2nd wave of COVID-19 pandemic

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Chandigarh, May 2 (PTI) Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has constituted a committee and would launch a control room at the party office here to ensure help reaches people affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hitting out at the Narendra Modi dispensation at the Centre, Jakhar alleged that the 'callous, incompetent government has pushed the whole country into a grim medical and health emergency.' Punjab is among the worst-hit states in the second wave of the pandemic.

On Saturday, it registered 7,041 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest in a day, bringing the infection count to 3,77,990, while 138 more fatalities took the toll to 9,160. The number of active cases rose from 55,798 on Friday to 58,229.

'We are passing through a crisis situation and we all need to help each other. The Congress government in Punjab is doing a commendable task to ensure the best of medical help to the patients and it has also provided ration kits to the needy,' Jakhar said during a virtual meeting with leaders from across the state on Sunday.

He also said the Congress cadre have also been doing everything to complement the state's efforts to curb the contagion.

'Our cadre have been directed to ensure all possible help to the needy in this hour of distress in every manner possible. Some families, whose all members are infected with the COVID-19, need food, some need medicine or urgent medical help which our partymen have been directed to ensure immediately,' the Punjab Congress chief said.

The control room would be launched at party office here on Monday by Jakhar and Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu.

General secretary of All India Youth Congress Amarpreet Singh Lalli has been appointed the state coordinator of the committee constituted by Jakhar, and general secretary of Punjab Youth Congress Karambir Singh Bittu has been appointed state co coordinator who will manage the helpline tasks.

The Punjab Congress chief said party leader Rahul Gandhi had been forewarning the Centre about the situation. 'Had they paid heed, the situation would not have deteriorated like this,' he said. On the occasion, Jakhar lauded the state health minister for 'proactive and efficient' handling of situation and also expressed his gratitude to all doctors and medical staff who are fighting on the frontline. Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the urgent need of the hour is to help the needy.

There is a need to continuously spread awareness about vaccinations to ensure maximum coverage, he said and assured people that the state government is standing with its citizens in this critical hour. PTI SUN VSD NSD NSD