AS COVID CASES SPIKE IN PUNJAB, CM ORDERS CURBS ON INDOOR & OUTDOOR GATHERINGS FROM MARCH 1

  • DIRECTS TESTING TO BE RAMPED TO 30000 A DAY, AUTHORISES DCs TO IMPOSE NIGHT CURFEW IN

  • HOT SPOTS IF NEEDED

  • NODAL TEACHERS APPOINTED IN SCHOOLS TO ENFORCE SAFETY PROTOCOLS AMID SURGE AMONG

  • STUDENTS

Chandigarh, February 23: Amid growing concern over the rising Covid trend in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered restriction on indoor gathering to 100 and outdoor to 200 persons from March 1, along with strict enforcement of mask/social distancing etc, with testing to be ramped to 30000 a day.

Chairing a high-level virtual meeting to review the situation, the Chief Minister also authorised the DCs to impose night curfew in hot spots in their districts if needed, with micro containment strategy to be adopted. He directed the Police force to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of masks, along with notification of Covid monitors by all restaurants, marriage palaces, with the the Department of Excise and Taxation to be the nodal agency for the same.

The Chief Minister said a decision on reducing occupancy in cinema halls will be taken after March 1. Private offices and restaurants shall be encouraged to display last tests done for all employees, he added.

While directing increased testing, Captain Amarinder ordered mandatory testing of 15 contacts per positive, with monitoring to be done by CPTOs and review to be undertaken by the Health Department.

The Chief Minister also took stock of the Vaccination status, underlining the need to carry out an IEC campaign to promote 100% coverage of healthcare and frontline workers. He directed the Health Department to plan for an strategise the roll-out of vaccine for the elderly population and those with comorbidities.

Expressing concern over the 3.23 CFR, Captain Amarinder took note of the mortality audit findings that many of the deaths are happening within 2 -14 days of hospitalisation. He underscored the need for continued supervision of protocols for managing patients with comorbidities, especially in private facilities. Citing cases of some deaths at home, he further directed the Health Department to ensure proper monitoring of home isolation cases, especially those with comorbidities. The Fateh Kits comprising self-monitoring instructions should positively reach all persons in home isolation the same day that they are tested positive, he directed.

The Chief Minister asked the Health and Medical Education departments to ensure that all positions for which special hiring has been allowed are filled at the earliest.

Apprising the Chief Minister of measures taken by the Punjab Police to enforce adherence to safety protocols, DGP Dinkar Gupta said instructions have been issued to field officers to strictly impose restrictions.

Earlier, in a brief presentation, Health Secretary Hussan Lal informed the meeting that the districts of Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, SAS Nagar and SBS Nagar had shown a spike in positivity in recent days, triggering concerns over a possible fresh wave in the state.

On the vaccination front, he disclosed that there had so far been 61 cases of minor adverse events following immunisation, while 6 severe and 14 serious cases had been reported. All had since recovered, he added.

Dr KK Talwar, who is heading the state government’s expert group on Covid, said a detailed analysis was being done on the recent spike in positivity rate, which suggested an increase in cases among young people. At the current rate, the positivity could go up to 4% in two weeks, translating into 800 cases per day, he said, stressing the need for urgent preventive steps.

Chief Secretary Vinni Mahajan ruled out re-closure of government schools and said the department is taking all steps to ensure the safety of students. Education Secretary Krishan Kumar said teachers have been designated nodal officers in schools to instruct students on the proper use of masks etc and ensure adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour. These steps have come as significant number of cases had been reported from the recently reopened schools, especially in Ludhiana, with positivity rate of 3.1% and Bathinda (2.9%).

So far, no new mutated variant of the Coronavirus had been witnessed in Punjab but new samples had been sent for testing and the results were expected next week, said Dr Talwar.

Dr Raj Bahadur also briefed the meeting on the prevailing situation and the steps being taken to check the spread of Covid.

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Punjab Vidhan Sabha Session on March 1

Chandigarh, Feburary 23:An official Spokesperson of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha said that the Governor of Punjab has summoned the 15th Punjab Vidhan Sabha to meet for its 14th Session (Budget) on Monday, March 1 at 11 AM in Punjab Vidhan Sabha Hall, Vidhan Bhavan at Chandigarh.

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Balbir Singh Sidhu flags off 22 Ambulances to provide emergency services in congested areas

Health deptt. now has a total of 422 Ambulances in its fleet to cover all cities and villages

Chandigarh, February 23:To provide emergency services in congested areas of cities, the Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu on Tuesday flagged off 22 small Ambulances for each district of Punjab.

Disclosing this here today, Mr. Sidhu said that these Ambulances will be used apart from Ambulances running under 108 help-line. These will be helpful for operation in small narrow lanes to ensure quick emergency services to the patients. He said that each van accommodates 5 attendants apart from patient and driver with easy manoeuvrability in city conditions.

The Ambulance is factory fitted with all the essential equipment including foldable stretcher cum trolley, medical kit box, provision for oxygen cylinder with internal lighting and announcement system, he added.

To fulfill the shortage of ambulances in the government hospitals, Mr. Sidhu said that the health department had procured new 180 more ambulances and all 22 Districts have their independent ALS Ambulances (Advance Life Support) which are fully equipped with life-saving equipment such as Ventilators, Defibrillators, Multi-Para Patient Monitor, Suction Machine, Nebulizers etc.

He said that now, the Health department has a total of 422 Ambulances in its fleet to cover all areas of cities and villages.

The Minister said that these ambulances proved, one of the main pillars to fight the pandemic by reducing the time required for transit of critical patients to required health facilities. He said that at a time when the numbers of positive patients are expected to increase, the addition of these new ambulances will further give a boost to fight the pandemic.

Mr. Sidhu divulged that these ambulances in the State have been deputed at Strategic places and efforts are being made in case of Emergency, Ambulances would reach the place within 20 minutes in Urban areas.

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COOPERATION MINISTER CONDUCTS SURPRISE CHECK AT COOPERATIVE BANK IN SECTOR-17

BRANCH MANAGER & ASSISTANT MANAGER FOUND ABSENT, SUSPENSION OF BOTH ORDERED

Chandigarh, February 23:The Cooperation Minister S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Tuesday conducted surprise check at the Sector-17 branch of Punjab State Cooperative Bank.

In the checking conducted during afternoon, Branch Manager Baldev Raj and Assistant Manager Baljinder Singh were found absent. The minister ordered the suspension of both.

The Cooperation Minister further said that whereas on one hand, the cooperation department is connected closely with the farming community and rural areas, on the other it is also linked directly with the urban as well as rural consumers which is why the indiscipline would not be tolerated. In a stern warning, he said that those indulging in negligence of duty whether other Government institutions or cooperative banks, would be strictly proceeded against.

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SUKHJINDER SINGH RANDHAWA LAUNCHES ‘PSCADB’ MOBILE APP

PEOPLE FRIENDLY NOVEL INITIATIVE TO BENEFIT COMMON PEOPLE IN GENERAL & FARMERS IN PARTICULAR

Chandigarh, February 23: In a bid to benefit common people in general and farmers in particular, one of the most significant institutions of the cooperative sector, the Punjab State Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank (PSCADB), took a giant digital leap with the launch of ‘PSCADB’ mobile app here today.

Doing the honours, Cooperation and Jails Minister, S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa launched ‘PSCADB’ Mobile App of The Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank Ltd, Chandigarh. The Android and iOS Version of this app designed and developed by NIC, New Delhi is available for download at Google Play Store and Open Web.

The minister on the occasion divulged that common people in general and farmers in particular can access information about Bank's Loan Schemes, Interest Rates of Loans/FD's and installments calculation. “This app will also help in locating the PADBs in the vicinity of Villages”, revealed the minister adding registered Loanee members can view information about the transactions/statements about their share/loan accounts. For more information, Concerned Branch Manager of Primary Bank may be contacted.

Among others present on the occasion included Financial Commissioner Cooperation K. Siva Prasad, Registrar Cooperative Societies Vikas Garg, MD PADB Charandev Mann and Chairman PADB Kamaldeep Singh.

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PAGREXCO appointed as State Implementing Agency for Kinnow crop under Operation Greens Scheme - TOP to TOTAL

Chandigarh, February 23-Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India has appointed Punjab Agri Export Corporation (PAGREXCO) as State Implementing Agency for Kinnow crop under Operation Greens Scheme - TOP to TOTAL.

The spokes person of Department of Food Processing, Punjab today Informed this here today.

He said that after persistent effort of the state government, MoFPI has included Kinnow in the list of designated crops under the said scheme. Earlier the scheme was restricted to three crops – Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) and now MoFPI has included many fruits and vegetables and hence the name of the scheme is TOTAL. The scheme is the part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

The Food Processors, FPO/FPC, Co-operative Societies, Individual farmers, Licensed Commission Agents, Exporters, State Marketing/Co- operative Federations, Retailers and others engaged in processing/ marketing of Kinnow would be entitled for assistance under the scheme.

The beneficiaries would get 50 % subsidy towards cost of transportation and/or storage of Kinnow. The objective of intervention is to protect growers of Kinnow from making distress sale due to lockdown, and to reduce post harvest losses.

PAGREXCO has invited eligible beneficiaries to come up for taking the benefit of the scheme by registering and submitting required documents on the website of Punjab Agro (PAIC) or depositing the same with the Kinnow Waxing & Grading Centres of PAGREXCO at village Badal (Sri Muktsar Sahib), Sito Guno (Fazilka) and Kangmai (Hoshiarpur). More information could be taken from PAGREXCO. The scheme would prove boon for Kinnow growers of the state.

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PUNJAB TO HOLD 12TH NATIONAL LIVESTOCK EXPO CHAMPIONSHIP & EXPO ON 'DIVERSIFICATION OF LIVESTOCK FARMING'

Five day event to be held at Batala from 20-24 March

Chandigarh, February 23: The Punjab Government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is organizing the XII-National Livestock Championship and Expo-2021 from 20-24 March 2021 at Batala. Mr. VK Janjua ACS Animal Husbandry Department Punjab while presiding over the first meeting in this regard today to assign duties to various for the success of the event said that the theme of the event would be 'Diversification of LiveStock Farming'.

Mr. Janjua said that this five day event is being organised by the state government in collaboration with the Punjab, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Punjab to achieve a high GDP growth by empowering the Livestock and allied activities. He said that during the event focus would be on educating and encouraging farmers to rear high quality cows, buffalos, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry to enhance their income through diversification.

The Additional Chief Secretary Animal Husbandry said that Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries & Dairy Development would soon visit the site of the event and hold a review meeting with senior officers of all the concerned departments.

Mr. Janjua further said that experts and participants from 5 countries, 25 states would participate in the event, besides this 200 exhibitions to display the schemes, achievements, implements and latest machines related to livestock farming, agriculture and agro industry. He further said that this expo would be organised in a 6000 square metre area and 5 lac visitors footfall is expected.

During the meeting Mr. HS Kahlon Director Animal Husbandry briefed about duties of concerned departments. Apart from representatives of district administration Gurdaspur, the officers from 25 departments attended the meeting.