DECISION ON UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE EXAMS, OPENING OF COLLEGES AFTER CENTRE ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES ON JULY 1, SAYS PUNJAB CM

Chandigarh, June 13-The Punjab Government will take a decision on conduct of examinations in universities and colleges in the state after June 30, in line with the fresh guidelines expected from the Government of India in this regard.

This was clarified by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh during his Facebook Live programme on Saturday evening.

In response to several questions on the issue of exams, with a large number of students urging promotions be allowed in universities and colleges without exams this year in view of the unprecedented Covid crisis, the Chief Minister said the decision was not in the state government’s hands.

Captain Amarinder pointed out that all universities and colleges in Punjab are either directly or indirectly affiliated to the University Grants Commission, a statutory body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. As such, their systems and processes were guided by the UGC, he said.

The UGC is expected to issue fresh guidelines on the issue of conduct of exams on July 1, 2020, based on the central government’s decisions after Lockdown 5.0/Unlock 1.0 ends on June 30, said the Chief Minister.

When his attention was drawn to the fact that certain states were conducting exams in colleges and universities, Captain Amarinder said that was in violation of the norms laid down by the central government, which alone could take a decision on this issue, with respect to the entire country.

The Centre was also expected to announce its decision on opening of colleges on July 1, he said.

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Health Minister warns of stringent action against private hospitals overcharging COVID patients

CHANDIGARH, June 13: Taking serious cognizance of the reports of highly exorbitant charges being levied by the private hospitals from the COVID patients in the state, the Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister, Balbir Singh Sidhu today warned of stringent action against all such hospitals, including cancellation of licences, who are trying to exploit the pandemic situation.

The minister said, the Punjab government would soon be fixing the charges for COVID treatment keeping in view the interest of both the patients and the private hospitals. “But at no cost will the government allow exploitation of the patients during this critical situation by the private hospitals”, he added.

“This is a catastrophic crisis when everyone is fighting for survival and some unscrupulous private hospitals have tried to resort to open and wanton loot of the helpless patients”, Sidhu said in a strong statement issued here today.

The minister said, his attention had been drawn towards the unprecedentedly high charges imposed by the private hospitals for the treatment of COVID patients. “It is sad and shameful on their part that instead of making positive contribution towards fighting this pandemic, some of these hospitals have resorted to extortion, which will not be allowed at any cost”, he said.

Sidhu warned that the licences of all such hospitals will be cancelled and all their facilities will be withdrawn. Besides, he added, the government reserves the right to withdraw the land provided to these hospitals at highly concessional rates.

The Minister has called a special meeting on Monday to decide the fee structure for treatment of the COVID patients. He said, all factors would be taken into consideration. “We do not want the private hospitals to suffer any financial losses, but we will not allow extortion at any cost and that too during the time of emergency”, he clarified.

The government will fix a particular fee for the treatment of the COVID patients which will be publicized and which the private hospitals will also need to display. “And for sure, the treatment of a COVID patient should not cost several lakhs of rupees”, he made it categorically clear.

He pointed out, most of the COVID patients do not need any special treatment or any special intervention and at best they are to be kept on observation and served food and medicines only. He said, this should not require the hospitals to charges as much money as they are charging right now.

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Ensure depositing auction amount of Panchayat lands in Panchayat accounts within 5 days of auction: Rural Development & Panchayat Minister Tript Bajwa

Erring officials to be strictly proceeded against

Chandigarh, June 13:In order to bring about transparency in the process of the auction of panchayat lands to award the same on contract, the Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa today directed the departmental officers to ensure that the amount of contract is deposited in the account of the concerned panchayat within 5 days of the auction.

He also cautioned that in case the said amount is not deposited in the account of the Panchayat, the concerned Block Development and Panchayat Officer along with the Panchayat Secretary would have to face the music.

Mr. Bajwa further said that it has come to his notice that the amount pertaining to the contract of the shamlat lands is not deposited into the panchayat accounts long after the auction process gets over. This adversely affects the development oriented projects of the villages apart from causing delay in disbursing the salaries to the employees.

The minister also added that he would review the matter in the next meeting of the top brass to be held next week. He also directed the higher-ups of the department to submit the complete report with regard to the auctions held and amount deposited until now in the aforementioned meeting.

On the occasion, the Financial Commissioner of the department, Seema Jain said that the department in the directives sent this year, has categorically said that the bid amount of the Panchayat land has to be deposited within the span of 3 days in the Panchayat account. The officer further divulged that it is also mandatory for every panchayat to deposit the amount into their bank account in 24 hours.

The Financial Commissioner further reiterated that the directions of the department would be ensured to be complied with and also made it clear that this accounting process would be carried out in the online mode only through e-Panchayat project and all the accounts would be visible on the dashboard. This entire exercise carries a motive of ensuring further transparency as well as accountability in the functioning of the department.

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PUNJAB POLICE NAB 3RD ACCOMPLICE OF LeT TERRORISTS ARRESTED IN PATHANKOT WITH WEAPONS HAUL

JAVED WAS TRYING TO FLEE TO KASHMIR AFTER LEARNING OF HIS ACCOMPLICES’ ARREST, SAYS DGP

Chandigarh, June 13-A day after two J&K based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives namely Aamir Hussain Wani and Wasim Hassan Wani were caught trying to smuggle weapons into the Valley to carry out terror attacks, the Punjab Police on Friday arrested their third accomplice while he was trying to flee to Kashmir.

The third suspected LeT militant has been identified as Javed Ahmed Bhat (29 yrs) s/o Gulam Ahmed Bhat r/o Vill. Shirmal, Distt. Shopian (J&K). He was intercepted and apprehended, along with his truck bearing registration No. JK-22-8711, from Dhobra Bridge, Pathankot, on Amritsar-Jammu Highway by Pathankot Police, as he was trying to escape to the Valley on learning about the arrest of his accomplices.

According to DGP Dinkar Gupta, Javed hails from the same village as the other two LeT operatives, and is their childhood friend. The trio had been doing transport business together for the past over 2-3 years, and had been making trips to Delhi, Amritsar and Jalandhar. Brother of a J&K Homeguard, Arif Ahmed Bhat, Javed himself was selected by the unit in 2012 but had left the job subsequently.

Initial questioning of Javed has revealed that he had come with the other Aamir and Wasim from the Kashmi Valley to Amritsar to collect the weapons consignment in the guise of bringing fruits and vegetables They came in two trucks and, after picking up the consignment from near Vallah Road, on June 11, Aamir and Wasim had asked Javed to stay behind in Amritsar to contact the weapons supplier on the directions of their handler, Ishfaq Ahmed Dar alias Bashir Ahmed Khan of LeT.

Further investigation is in progress to identify further links and associates of the three men in Punjab and J&K, said DGP, pointing out that these arrests indicated widespread terror network backed by Pakistan-based militants. They further corroborated recent intelligence inputs indicating that Pak ISI has been pushing weapon consignments and infiltrating militants from across the border into Punjab, and further to Kashmir valley for carrying out terror activities.

Earlier, on 25th April, 2020, Punjab Police had arrested another J&K based youth, namely Hilal Ahmed Wagay, who had come to collect drug money from Amritsar, on the instructions of slain Hizbul Mujahadeen Commander Riaz Ahmed Naikoo. In that case also, Hilal Ahmed had used a truck for ferrying the drug money.

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Delhi Government fails to conduct Covid-19 test of even Symptomatic Persons

Now symptomatic persons are moving towards Punjab for getting health facilities

Conduct thorough checking of passengers under Home Quarantine: Health Minister Instructs Civil Surgeons

Chandigarh, June 13:-Failing to get any treatment in Delhi, symptomatic persons are coming to Punjab to get them tested either they are positive or negative.

Disclosing this here today in press communiqué, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that claiming the world class health facilities, Delhi Government proved fail to conduct COVID-19 test of even symptomatic persons in their Government hospitals. About 97 persons coming from Delhi have been tested positive since one month after that treatment services were being providing to them by Punjab Government.

Mr. Sidhu said that to avoid any unprecedented situation, he already directed the Civil Surgeons to keep close watch on state borders so as to ensure screening of every person coming from Delhi.

He said that it is matter of concern that large number of symptomatic people are moving from Delhi to Punjab for getting all free of cost treatment facilities. He said that it has come into light that due to massive level of outbreak occurred in National Capital, people are battling for corona test as well as for getting beds in Government hospitals. He said that it is shocking to even imagine the present critical situation of Delhi where common people are crying for help and moving from one hospital to another hospital to just give samples for corona test but there is nobody from Government side to address their problems and complaints.

The Minister said that hundreds of videos of such incidents are viral on social media which clearly exposing the worse arrangements of Delhi Government made to deal with COVID-19 patients.

Highlighting the present scenario of Punjab, the Minister said that the about 80 percent of corona patients in Punjab are found asymptomatic and recovery rate of Punjab is more than percent 90 percent with 99.9 percent contact tracing of all COVID-19 patients.

Mr. Sidhu said that as this virus is highly infectious, it spread very rapidly and Punjab government under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh responded quickly with closing of bus services, announcement of curfew from 23 March which was also such first lockdown in country.

Sensing trouble the Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government has ordered to make preparations and awareness regarding COVID-19 in the first fortnight of March itself, making Punjab well prepared to deal with health emergency related to spread of COVID-19. Deputy Commissioners were directed to tackle this disease and were provided adequate funds to deal with the crisis.

Now, to overcome from any situation like Delhi, on the directive of Chief Minister Punjab, Health department has commenced the house to house screening under which teams of health department have been visiting the every house of State to collect the data of every person having symptoms of virus.

In order to ensure strict compliance of guidelines regarding home quarantine, the instructions have been already issued to all Civil Surgeons to conduct thorough checking of passengers under home quarantine especially coming from affected States & Countries so as to contain the spread among the populations. Challans are being issued and legal actions are being taken against violators he said.

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17 ASYMPTOMATIC PUNJAB COPS FOUND COVID POSITIVE IN RANDOM SAMPLING EXERCISE INVOLVING 7165 RT-PCR TESTS

TESTING COMMENCED ON JUNE 1 ON DGP’S ORDERS TO CHECK ALL HIGH-RISK POLICE PERSONNEL TO ASSESS SITUATION AFTER CURFEW RELAXATION

Chandigarh, June 13-A total of 17 Punjab Police personnel have tested positive in a random sampling of 7165 of a cross-section of cops posted in police stations and on other frontline jobs, as part of a special RT-PCR Covid testing drive ordered by DGP Dinkar Gupta amid apprehensions of a spike in cases in the wake of relaxation of the curfew in the state, and almost 3 months of multifarious frontline duties by around 48000 Punjab Police personnel working 24/7 during the Statewide curfew/lockdown.

This translates into around 0.9% positive cases of the total samples for the police force, as compared with the average of 2% positive cases for the entire state, said Gupta, pointing out that the state’s higher percentage among general population was understandable since testing of citizens is normally carried out either for symptomatic individuals or for their primary or secondary contacts, in contrast to the random exercise conducted among asymptomatic Punjab Police personnel.

The DGP disclosed that of the 17 positive cases, 14 belonged to district police, 2 (including a cook) were from State Armed Police/Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) and one from Punjab Home Guards (PHG). Sangrur has reported the maximum number of positive cases, said the DGP.

While 1868 of the 7165 samples collected till June 12 had tested negative, results for 5280 were pending, said Gupta, adding that the sampling process started on June 1, and efforts were being made to test a maximum number of police personnel posted in police stations and other high risk areas on a daily basis depending upon the spare sampling and the testing capacity available with the Health department. He further revealed that that all the 17 infected cops were in isolation, either in Civil Hospitals or in the COVID Care Centres established by the Punjab Health department.

The DGP had, through a Video Conference, directed all SSPs /CPs and IGs Ranges to conduct RT-PCR test for all police personnel with high risk exposure, with focus on personnel engaged in frontline roles in over 400 police stations of the 27 revenue/police districts of the state. The DGP Punjab directed the district police chiefs, as well as the Special DGP of the State Armed Police, to carry out the random sampling of a cross-section of the Punjab Police personnel, including drivers of Police Vehicles, Prison Vans etc. He told the officers he was concerned about the probability of increase in infection among police personnel deployed on public and frontline duties.

Since the Health Department had a shortage of trained sampling teams, the doctors and paramedics attached with the Police were put through a quick training programme by the State Health department in taking samples.

The exercise would help the department in making an assessment of the extent of problem in the police force, and would also enable the department to ensure the best possible medical treatment to the policemen and their families, said the DGP. It would also help Punjab Police make proper arrangements and build adequate capacity for testing and medical treatment of its personnel to combat any crisis situation in the future.

Meanwhile, a Covid positive ASI, with co-morbidities, was reported to be in critical condition in Amritsar City, said the DGP. He was, however, not part of the random sampling exercise undertaken by the department, he added, but all out efforts were being made to ensure the best possible treatment through the Expert Groups set-up by the Punjab government under Dr. KK Talwar, former Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

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Delhi Government fails to conduct Covid-19 test of even Symptomatic Persons

Now symptomatic persons are moving towards Punjab for getting health facilities

Conduct thorough checking of persons under Home Quarantine passengers: Health Minister Instructs Civil Surgeons

Chandigarh, June 13:-Failing to get any treatment in Delhi, symptomatic persons are coming to Punjab to get them tested either they are positive or negative.

Disclosing this here today in press communiqué, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that claiming the world class health facilities, Delhi Government proved fail to conduct COVID-19 test of even symptomatic persons in their Government hospitals. About 97 persons coming from Delhi have been tested positive since one month after that treatment services were being providing to them by Punjab Government.

Mr. Sidhu said that to avoid any unprecedented situation, he already directed the Civil Surgeons to keep close watch on state borders so as to ensure screening of every person coming from Delhi.

He said that it is matter of concern that large number of symptomatic people are moving from Delhi to Punjab for getting all free of cost treatment facilities. He said that it has come into light that due to massive level of outbreak occurred in National Capital, people are battling for corona test as well as for getting beds in Government hospitals. He said that it is shocking to even imagine the present critical situation of Delhi where common people are crying for help and moving from one hospital to another hospital to just give samples for corona test but there is nobody from Government side to address their problems and complaints.

The Minister said that hundreds of videos of such incidents are viral on social media which clearly exposing the worse arrangements of Delhi Government made to deal with COVID-19 patients.

Highlighting the present scenario of Punjab, the Minister said that the about 80 percent of corona patients in Punjab are found asymptomatic and recovery rate of Punjab is more than percent 90 percent with 99.9 percent contact tracing of all COVID-19 patients.

Mr. Sidhu said that as this virus is highly infectious, it spread very rapidly and Punjab government under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh responded quickly with closing of bus services, announcement of curfew from 23 March which was also such first lockdown in country.

Sensing trouble the Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government has ordered to make preparations and awareness regarding COVID-19 in the first fortnight of March itself, making Punjab well prepared to deal with health emergency related to spread of COVID-19. Deputy Commissioners were directed to tackle this disease and were provided adequate funds to deal with the crisis.

Now, to overcome from any situation like Delhi, on the directive of Chief Minister Punjab, Health department has commenced the house to house screening under which teams of health department have been visiting the every house of State to collect the data of every person having symptoms of virus.

In order to ensure strict compliance of guidelines regarding home quarantine, the instructions have been already issued to all Civil Surgeons to conduct thorough checking of passengers under home quarantine especially coming from affected States & Countries so as to contain the spread among the populations. Challans are being issued and legal actions are being taken against violators he said.