OPD services, elective surgeries resume - ECAS Punjab

OPD services, elective surgeries resume

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15

With Covid cases showing a marked decline in the state, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today ordered resumption of normal OPD services and elective surgeries with extensive precautions in place, but warned against any complacency given the projections of a possible second wave of the pandemic.

The Chief Minister also allowed opening of government schools for three hours from October 19 for students of classes IX to XII after due sanitation and disinfection procedures, and with clear SOPs mandating parents' consent as well as ceiling on the number of students and hours of operation. Some private schools in the state opened today.

School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said, "As the schools are already conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend the online classes rather than physically attending school, they may be permitted to do so. The students will be able to attend the physical classes only with the written consent of parents," the minister said.

Expressing concern over the warnings by health and medical experts of the possibility of the second wave hitting the state in the festival season or during the winter months, the Chief Minister directed the departments concerned to take all steps to ensure that things remained under control in the festive times ahead. He asked the Health and Medical Education Departments to work with market committees to ensure widespread distribution of masks with steps to encourage people to wear them, and also follow social distancing norms.

The Chief Minister, who was chairing a virtual review meeting of the Covid situation, also asked the departments to ensure that the medical staff was kept motivated and vacancies were filled immediately.

DGP Dinkar Gupta said 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 Covid norms in markets. The DGP said the police were also focused on handling the increasing number of farmer protests as well as protests by the BJP and RSS.

Even as he termed the decline in the positivity rate to 2.60 as a good sign, Dr KK Talwar, head of the state government's expert advisory committee on health, warned of a second wave hitting Punjab during the festival season. With about 500 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 soon.

Dr Talwar suggested giving pulse oximeters to ASHA workers to enable them keep a check in their respective areas. He said teams of experts were being formed to conduct a mortality audit of every hospital to identify gaps since the fatality rate in the state continued to be high at 3.1 per cent. This is despite the fact that the recovery rate had gone up from 82 per cent on October 1 to 90.3 per cent on October 13.

Health Secretary Hussan Lal said oxygen generation plants would be set up at district hospitals in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and at medical colleges in Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot in the first phase, and at district hospitals in Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda and Patiala in the second phase.


Oxygen generation plants in offing

Health Secretary Hussan Lal said oxygen generation plants would be set up at district hospitals in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and at medical colleges in Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot in the first phase. The plants will be set up at the district hospitals in Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda and Patiala in the second phase.


Multiplexes to remain closed

  • The state will not open multiplexes, cinema halls and entertainment parks for the time being. However, Ramlilas have been allowed subject to adherence to Covid guidelines
  • As per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, multiplexes were to be open from Thursday. However, the state had decided not to open the facilities yet, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said


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