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YAD calls for dismissal of Health minister and asks CM to come out of hiding

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet)– The Youth Akali Dal (YAD) today said after the clear cut indictment of the Congress government by its own Health Advisor for mishandling the COVID-19 crisis, Health minister Balbir Sidhu should be dismissed even as it asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to come out of hiding and take urgent steps to restore the trust of the people in government health services.

Addressing a digital press conference, YAD President Parambans Singh Romana also announced that the party would launch a programme aimed at encouraging plasma donation by calling upon youth activists who had recovered from COVID to donate their plasmas to pandemic patients. He said the YAD would shortly come out with help line numbers to come to the aid of critically ill COVID patients. “We are compiling data of youth activists as well as others who are ready to donate their plasma for this noble cause”, he added.

Mr Parambans Romana said the high fatality rate coupled with the Congress government’s failure to upgrade and maintain health services was reason enough to dismiss the health minister. “However, the report of the State’s Health Advisor K K Talwar is an indictment of the chief minister also because the expert has also pointed out the State’s inability to manage containment zones which was the job of the State police which reports to the chief minister”. He said besides this the health expert had clearly stated that there was a lack of trust in the general public in seeking treatment from government hospitals besides indicting the government for failing to conduct contact tracing in July to reduce the spread of COVID”.

Asking the chief minister what he was waiting for before taking the needed steps to avert what was increasingly becoming a manmade tragedy, Mr Parambans Romana said Punjab had one of the highest fatality rates in the country. He said even when compared to its neighbour Haryana, the State had recorded 1739 deaths for 60,000 cases as compared to 769 deaths recorded by Haryana for 71000 cases. “Moreover, in case of Punjab, the fatality rate is increasing with 106 deaths being recorded few days back”.

Telling the chief minister to utilize funds lying with the State to tackle this grim situation, Mr Romana said the State was yet to fully utilize the Rs 6,500 crore lying with it under the Disaster Management fund as well as Rs 60 crore collected in the CM Relief fund. He said whatever money had been spent till now was done to create hype around the Mission Fateh programme of the Congress government which had turned into Mission Shikast after turning out to be a complete flop show.

Calling for an immediate need to improve the condition of all Critical Care Centres in the State, the YAD President said the Centres were not equipped to provide the suitable care with ICUs not functioning properly. “It is because of this state of affairs that critical patients in Patiala Medical College experienced lack of even oxygen supply last month. In the medical college at Faridkot the situation is worse. As many as 60 doctors have tested positive because they did not have access to adequate protective wear. The Medical Superintendent of the college resigned in protest against lack of facilities and even the Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences – Dr Raj Bahadur - chose to get treatment from Chandigarh when struck with COVID instead of his University’s hospital. There is an urgent need to upgrade and modernise all Critical Care Centres as well as COVID centres and isolation wards”. Asking the chief minister to come out of his farm house and take steps to revive the confidence of the people in government health services after increasing incidents of people not letting authorities take away COVID patients from villages, Mr Romana said it was high time the chief minister displayed the political will needed to lead the State at this critical juncture

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