Chandigarh, Oct 15 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered the resumption of normal OPD services and elective surgeries in hospitals following a decline in COVID-19 cases in the state.
At the same time, he warned against any complacency, given the projections of a possible second wave of the pandemic hitting the state.
Expressing concern over the warnings by the health and medical experts of the “grave possibility” of a second wave hitting the state in the festival season or during the winter, Singh directed the departments concerned to take all steps to ensure that things remain under control.
He asked the Health and Medical Education Department to work with the market committees to ensure widespread distribution of face masks and encourage people to wear them and also follow social distancing.
The CM, who was chairing a virtual review meeting of the Covid situation, also asked the Department to ensure that the medical staff is kept motivated, an official statement said quoting the chief minister.
The chief minister also asked the Medical and Health Education Department to fill all vacancies of technicians and other paramedical staffers immediately so that normal OPD services and elective surgeries can be carried out seamlessly amid the pandemic situation.
Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta told the meeting that the Punjab police was gearing up to manage the festival season, during which security would be beefed up and all efforts would be made to ensure strict adherence to anti-Covid precautions in marketplaces, Ramlilas venues and other crowded places.
According to the DGP, the force lost 22 personnel to Covid in September, taking the toll to 39.
While terming the decline in positivity rate to 2.60 as a “good sign”, K K Talwar, the head of the state government's expert advisory committee on health, warned of a second wave hitting Punjab during the festival season.
With just about 500-plus cases a day at present, the projections for the next few days were positive, he said but added that with the spate of upcoming festivals and the fatigue in the health system, Punjab could see the next wave hitting soon.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, has written to all village sarpanches in the state, urging them to aggressively counter the false propaganda being spread about Covid by some people.
Singh asked the sarpanches to work among the people to ensure that they are not misled by misinformation and blatant lies, and to strengthen the government's hands in fighting the pandemic, especially during the upcoming festival season. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX