Special Congress Party Press Briefing by @capt_amarinder, Chief Minister, Punjab:
- As you know, we were the second state to come into lockdown after Kerala. We had to make it stringent by bringing in curfew and we had to make arrangements for everything- food, milk, vegetables, ration..
It took time in streamlining things but today, we have people going in every Mohalla with trolleys full of vegetables; milk is delivered daily to everyone; and for ration, people can either go to a grocery store or order from one.
- People are fed up because it’s been a long time there but it was necessary for us. Just after Coronavirus started the world over and before the lockdown took place, 95,000 Punjabi people- NRIs and tourists came back, additionally 44,000 came through Delhi.
- While everyone was checked at airports sometimes symptoms don’t show until much later. We got those lists, put them into quarantine, had teams visit their homes & check after 7-10 days if they had symptoms. It became a major operation to keep that under control.
- Most of those people are now out of quarantine, who did not show any symptoms.
The second was these new cases that came from Nizamuddin, 651 people came into Punjab. We traced 636 while 15 are still untraceable and we’re looking for them.
- Out of these, 481 samples have been collected and 27 have tested positive. These are primary sources and is spreading in Punjab. The Doaba region is the worst affected as this is the hub of NRIs.
- It has taken us time but at the moment, things are under control.
As far as testing is concerned, as of today, we have 132 confirmed cases in the state out of which 11 people have died. We have collected 2877 samples so far.
- Initially there were only 3 sources of testing- a medical college in Amritsar, 1 in Patiala & PGI in Chandigarh. We took it up with the Govt. and they’ve allowed Faridkot Medical college and 2 private colleges in Ludhiana, so testing will improve now.
- In addition to this, new test kits that are coming that will test the positive or negative antigens. We’ll hopefully have them by Monday or Tuesday and then we can do mass testing. Those who test positive, will have to go through the Coronavirus test.
- There’s been a shortage of equipment because we didn’t expect this. We are going to have 4 phases: 1st- up to 2000 beds & equipment 2nd- up to 10,000 beds & equipment 3rd- 30,000 beds & equipment 4th- 1,00,000 patients & equipment We’re arranging for these.
- Regarding equipment there’s only one ventilator in use today as only one patient needs it, two patients are in the pre-ventilator stage, rest are in isolation wards. We have 76 ventilators operational in Govt hospitals & 358 in private hospitals; a total of 434.
- We have procured 8 more already and 93 have been ordered, so we will have a total of more than 500 ventilators if a crisis does develop. 62,000 N-95 masks are in stock and fresh orders have been placed for 2,70,000.
- There are manufacturers in Punjab who have made PPE kits which have been tested at a Govt. lab in Bangalore & are approved. 2,000 out of 14,000 have come in & from Monday, their output will be 5,000 kits a day. We’ll keep what we need and give rest to states.
- I made an appeal to all Govt doctors who had retired during the past three years- doctors, nurses, paramedics etc and I am happy to say, we have people coming in more than we required and they will be called as and when needed.
- We are doing our best to ensure that the lockdown is maintained and hopefully a medicine will come in due course which we can treat them with. The figures are going up but luckily so far most of the cases that have come in are those that have come from outside.
- We are now faced with harvesting. Until 14th April there is a lockdown and from 15th April the harvesting will start. We have to stop this congestion and maintain social distancing.
We have increased the number of mandis from 1800 to 3800 so that lesser people go into one mandi. We are getting a bumper harvest, the fourth in a row.