COVID-19 | Punjab govt. reviews preparedness

State constitutes a Rapid Response Team to deal with the virus

Published - March 06, 2020 12:59 am IST - CHANDIGARH

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh

The Punjab government on Thursday reviewed the State’s preparedness to tackle COVID-19 and constituted a State Rapid Response Team to deal with the virus.

Presiding over a high-level meeting called to review the arrangements to combat any exigency arising out of COVID-19, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked the Principal Secretary (Health), Anurag Aggarwal, to issue an advisory to educate people about the symptoms and precautions to be taken in view of the virus threat.

Captain Amarinder also asked the Chief Secretary to direct the Deputy Commissioners (DC) to instruct the field staff in their respective districts to assist the health department in its mass awareness campaign. The DCs should take active steps to avert a panic situation and to build confidence amongst the people.

The State Rapid Response Team comprises four senior doctors. Additionally, a control room has been established in each district with District Rapid Response teams to maintain a 24X7 vigil.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that currently, there were 5,795 persons in Punjab with travel histories to affected countries. As on Thursday, 13 persons were found symptomatic for COVID-19.

The situation, however, was under control, and the department was fully geared to tackle any exigency, said Mr. Sidhu, urging people not to panic.

Briefing the Chief Minister about the preparedness, Mr. Agarwal said 22 district hospitals and three government medical colleges had been identified to deal with emergency cases.

Isolation wards with 649 bed have been set up in these hospitals, and as many as 24 ventilators were made available, of which 14 were in district hospitals and 10 in government medical colleges, he added.

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