Even as the Centre has flagged a low vaccination rate in Punjab, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced the setting up of Rural Corona Volunteers (RCVs) in villages and municipal wards to involve youth in creating awareness in the fight to battle Covid.
The Union health ministry has been raising the issue of Punjab lagging in vaccination targets. For the 45-plus age group, the first dose coverage in Punjab is 30.04 per cent against the national average of 33.7 per cent. Captain Amarinder Singh rolled out a new initiative, involving youth, to take forward the State's Mission Fateh 2.0 as part of the ‘Corona Mukt Punjab Abhiyan’ (Covid-free Punjab Campaign), with directions to form groups of seven RCVs per village or municipal ward.
The Chief Minister said that with the villages more badly affected in the second wave of Covid, it was important to drive a strong campaign for “Corona Mukt Pind”, he said, directing the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs and District Collectors (DCs) to immediately form such RCVs to be the torchbearers in the war against the contagion. Existing clubs can also become RCVs, he said, adding that these could work as a powerful support system for the panchayats and municipalities in the war against Covid.
The Chief Minister tasked the RCVs with carrying forward the 3Ts drive (Test, Trace and Treat), taking care of poor and elderly and connecting them to the Covid Control Rooms and helplines, conducting Theekri Pehras in all villages, promoting Covid appropriate behaviour, assisting villagers in accessing adequate healthcare, discouraging quacks, encouraging download of COVA App, besides preparing and displaying banners and pamphlets.
About 13,857 registered youth clubs in the State would be engaged in creating awareness amongst the people for maximum vaccination and timely treatment of infected persons.