By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India] April 11 (ANI): Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to Punjab government after the central team visited the state to monitor Covid-19 surge stating that contact tracing has not been done in many districts and RTPCR testing has also decreased.
According to the report sent by the Central team, contact tracing is not being done properly in many districts of Punjab.
"There is a need to enhance focus on contact tracing in Patiala and Ludhiana. Contact tracing and surveillance efforts in SAS Nagar are being hampered due to shortage of manpower. Additional manpower must be deployed for contact tracing on a priority basis.Low rates of testing have been reported from Patiala. Also as reported by the team,there is no RT-PCR testing laboratory in Rupnagar. This has been addressed urgently," the letter stated based on the feedback from the Central teams.
According to the observation, There is no dedicated COVID Hospital in SAS Nagar and Rupnagar Districts, and patients are being referred to neighbouring Districts or Chandigarh.
Similarly the team has reported lack of any Covid Care Centre/Dedicated Covid Hospital in Rupnagar District.
"Hospital bed occupancy rates in SAS Nagar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana are on the higher side and suitable arrangement for the same must be undertaken by the District health authorities with sufficient lead time to prepare for any surge in cases.
Teams have also reported issues with the procurement of ventilators for proper case management in SBS Nagar. In Rupnagar, although ventilators are available, these are not being optimally utilized due to shortage of healthcare workforce, particularly doctors and nurses. Contractual hiring of health care workers would go a long way in addressing this," letter adds.
Bhushan also highlighted that Shortage of healthcare workforce has been reported from Patiala, SAS Nagar and Rupnagar also.
The team to Patiala and Ludhiana have reported slow pace of COVID-19 vaccination
among persons > 45 years (with co-morbidities) and those above 60 years which also needs to be addressed on priority.
The Central teams have also reported lack of COVID appropriate behavior by the community and have suggested stricter ground level enforcement for the same by district authorities.
Union Ministry has deployed Central teams to 9 most affected Districts in Punjab which tasked to work along with District Health Authorities on COVID-19 preparedness and response with focus on testing, contact tracing and containment operations, COVID appropriate behaviour and its enforcement, Hospital infrastructure and availability of logistic and COVID vaccination progress. (ANI)