Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday asked the chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to upgrade the health infrastructure and safety measures for health workers and double their salaries besides making private hospitals active participants in the fight against coronavirus. He also advocated giving a government job to the next of kin of all corona victims in the State.
Former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said Punjab was lagging behind as far as measures needed to combat COVID-19 were concerned with there being an acute shortage of Ventilators, testing kits, and PPE kits. “There are only 123 ventilators functioning in the State in government hospitals with a number of districts not having any ventilator in the government sector. There are another 270 odd ventilators available in the private sector but these are not being used optimally.”
He said that there was a shortage of PPE kits as well as gloves and masks besides testing kits. “Lack of adequate testing kits has also resulted in turning away of COVID-19 patients from hospitals when they reported ill only to test positive later”.
Bikram Majithia also pointed that out that since 70 percent of the population relied on the private sector for medical treatment and the government was under equipped to handle coronavirus patients as seen in the cases of Padam Shri Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa, the government should make private hospitals active participants in the fight against Coronavirus. He said that the district level committees of both government and private doctors should be made for this purpose besides a State level Advisory Board.
The SAD leader also called for a relook into the entire strategy of handling coronavirus patients. He said as per a recent survey of all States, it had been revealed that despite the fact that Punjab recorded 151 cases, it had witnessed eleven deaths. He said the average was much less in other states including Tamil Nadu which had seen only eight deaths for 738 cases. “Even in neighbouring Haryana only two deaths have occurred out of 167 patients reporting ill with COVID-19”, Majithia told the chief minister.