Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday announced Oximeters to be made available to all citizens at an affordable cost of ₹514 through approved vendors in every district amid the spiralling cases of COVID-19.
The Department of Health will issue detailed guidelines in this regard within one week, the Chief Minister said during his 17th #AskCaptain Live session on Facebook. The department was purchasing these Oximeters for ₹514 each for the health staff and these would now be made available through authorised vendors to the general public too on a no-profit-no-loss basis, he added.
Responding to a Raikot resident's suggestion that the government must provide Oximeters and thermometers at cheap price in every home, Captain Amarinder said 50,000 COVID care kits were being distributed by his government free of cost. These kits contain Oximeters and Thermometers, among other essentials, he said.
Assuaging the fears of a Gurdaspur resident, Captain Amarinder said if he turned out to be COVID-19 positive he would not put in hospital but will be asked to home quarantine and take care, with regular watch on his health.
Home Isolation medicines are given only if required, said the Chief Minister in response to a question. Home Isolation Monitoring Team visits the home of positive patients three times in 10 days to inquire about the health conditions and also give the necessary inputs to Health Caregiver of the patient. They check for the availability of Thermometer, Pulse Oximeter, Vit C and Zinc Tablets as advised. The Team also make calls to the Health Caregiver.
Pointing to the state's high deaths rates, which were attributable to late reporting at hospitals for treatment, Captain Amarinder called upon the people to help him and his government in reversing the trend by not ignoring symptoms, and getting themselves tested and hospitalised in time as most of the deaths were being reported at Level 3.
The conditions in hospitals had improved, said the Chief Minister, adding that a lot of money had been spent by his government to scale up the facilities and he had also asked the ministers to visit the districts under their charge to take stock of the ground situation.
The Chief Minister, in response to a question on whether masks could be removed during any functions/gathering etc while speaking through the mic, said it was advisable not to attend any social gatherings at all. However, if necessary to do so, all protocols should be adhered to at all times, he said.
Overall, things were not good across the country and the world, and Punjab was no exception, said Captain Amarinder, stressing, however, that the life of each and every Punjabi was important to him.
On a Khadoor Sahib resident's suggestion that the Punjab government should offer a financial incentive for plasma donation on the lines of a similar programme in Andhra Pradesh, Captain Amarinder said: "We are Punjabis and are open-hearted." "Why would a Punjabi take money for donating plasma and blood, it's not in our culture and ethos," he added.
On a plea by NHM workers working on a meagre salary for the past 10 years, despite now being on the forefront of the Covid fight, the Chief Minister said the state government has already established a cabinet sub-committee to look into to the regularisation of contractual staff working in the state. A Faridkot resident was also given a similar assurance, with Captain Amarinder saying that his government was committed to taking care of the health workers, especially those on Covid duty.
Referring to several complaints on inflated power bills, the Chief Minister said no meter reading was taking place due to the pandemic but he had now ordered meter reading to start so that people could get bills on actual consumption. If higher amounts have already been paid, the same will be adjusted, he said.