Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], May 27 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced the extension of COVID restrictions in the state till June 10. However, the limit on the number of passengers in personal vehicles has been removed, in view of the decline in the COVID positivity rate and the number of active cases.
According to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), Singh said that while the limit on personal cars and two-wheelers was being removed as these are used mainly by family members and close friends, those on commercial passenger vehicles and taxis shall continue to be in place at present. The District Collectors DCs will also continue to be empowered to make any adjustments in the opening of non-essential shops as are merited by local conditions.
He also directed the resumption of elective surgeries in both government and private hospitals, as well as restoration of OPD operations at all Government Medical College and Hospitals (GMCH) in the state, in view of the improvement in the overall COVID situation.
Recalling that elective surgeries had been stopped from April 12 to ensure adequate availability of beds and oxygen for serious COVID cases, the Chief Minister has now allowed these to be resumed, subject to the condition that there shall, for the present, be no reduction in beds for L3 patients in the hospital.
Medical Education Minister OP Soni said three GMCs had already started 50 per cent OPD operations, which will soon be scaled up to 100 per cent.
The Chief Minister asked Health and Medical Education departments to invest in augmenting paediatric care and to seek 500 paediatric ventilators from the Government of India. The meeting was informed that all the 809 ventilators received earlier under the PMCares Fund had been distributed and 136 of them were not working.
Taking strong note of overcharging by some private hospitals, the Chief Minister directed the Health and Medical Education departments to ensure that hospitals display huge (11'x5') boards at the entrance displaying rates.
DGP Dinkar Gupta said enforcement of restrictions, especially on gatherings, was being strengthened in the rural areas, where COVID was spreading fast. He further disclosed that 6,400 cooked meal packages had been delivered in the last two weeks since the launch of the Bhojan Helpline for COVID affected families.
According to the Union Health Ministry, Punjab has 50,549 active COVID-19 cases. The total number of recoveries has reached 4,87,859 and fatalities have mounted to 13,827. (ANI)