Chandigarh, May 1 (PTI) The Punjab government on Saturday said it will set up two makeshift hospitals equipped with ICU facilities for coronavirus patients in Mohali and Bathinda.
Besides, nine new small hospitals at various district hospitals were also coming up in the state.
Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan stated this after chairing a meeting here on Saturday, according to a government release.
She directed the Medical Education and Research department to make functional both the new hospitals by the end of this month to ensure the best possible healthcare to coronavirus patients in the state.
Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research D K Tiwari apprised the CS that 2.66-acre land near refinery in Bathinda and 23,000 sq ft land in Mohali has been identified for this purpose.
Both the hospitals will have the capacity of 104 beds each, he said.
The chief secretary stressed that all beds must have oxygen support to enhance Level-2 (critical) and Level-3 (very critical) beds.
'The number of beds needs to be increased with the support of the Western Command and permissions for movement of products will be coordinated by the Medical Education department,' she added.
Col. Jasdeep Sandhu, Director, Civil Military Affairs, Western Command, informed that he has visited Mohali site and felt the need for utilising existing beds promptly as the field hospital unit can move in three days.
Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare, Hussan Lal, said he has selected the sites in Mansa, Muktsar and Fazilka for strengthening the existing health facilities.
Punjab Health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Saturday directed all civil surgeons to intensify screening of symptomatic people in rural areas which have a higher mortality rate.
Sidhu said 58 per cent deaths have been recorded in rural areas which accounted for 27 per cent of total COVID-19 cases.
He instructed the civil surgeons to intensify a screening drive in villages, according to an official release.
The minister said considering the high case fatality rate of the state, there is also need to keep a close watch on the functioning of private clinics/registered medical practitioners in villages.
He said senior medical officers must ensure COVID testing of every single symptomatic person who is getting the treatment from such clinics.
If any private health facility has not shared the information concerning the symptomatic persons on a routine basis, they must be booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act for violating the government's guidelines, he added.
Punjab on Saturday registered 7,041 fresh COVID-19 cases, highest in a day, bringing the infection count to 3,77,990, while 138 more fatalities raised the toll to 9,160, according to a medical bulletin.
The number of active cases rose from 55,798 on Friday to 58,229.
Of the new fatalities, 22 were registered in Bathinda, 18 in Ludhiana, 12 in Gurdaspur and 10 in Sangrur.
Ludhiana recorded a maximum of 1,600 fresh COVID-19 cases, followed by 936 in Mohali, 653 in Bathinda and 566 in Jalandhar.
The recovery count rose to 3,10,601 after 4,448 more patients recovered from the infection, the bulletin said.
There are 114 critical COVID-19 patients who are on ventilator support while 644 are on oxygen support, it said.
A total of 72,81,978 samples have been collected for COVID-19 testing so far in the state, it said.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh recorded 799 fresh infections on Saturday, taking the tally to 43,446.
Eleven more people succumbed to the infection, bringing the toll to 489 in the city, according to a medical bulletin.
The number of active cases stands at 7,222, it said.
The number of recoveries rose to 35,735 with 472 more patients getting discharged after recovering from COVID-19.
A total of 4,08,487 samples have been taken for COVID-19 testing so far and 3,63,939 of them tested negative while reports of 153 are awaited, according to the bulletin. PTI CHS VSD CK