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Punjab govt fixes 2 lakh daily COVID-19 vaccination target

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan on Friday directed the state health department to ramp up the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive and achieve the target of inoculating 2 lakh people per day.

She also announced a special fund of Rs 1 crore to every district for effective COVID-19 management in the northern state.

“There is no constraint of funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic,” Mahajan asserted after chairing a high-level meeting here to review the coronavirus situation in the state.

She directed the Health Department to observe two days (Tuesdays and Fridays) every week as ‘mega vaccination days’ to cover maximum number of people to check the spread of the virus, an official statement said.

She also set the state”s weekly inoculation target to more than 16 lakh beneficiaries for the month of April.

The chief secretary urged the eligible people to get vaccinated at the earliest as she said the vaccination is undertaken on all days of the week and no age limit has been imposed for the inoculation of health and frontline workers.

Chairing the meeting of administrative secretaries, deputy commissioners, commissioners of police and other senior officials of the state, she called for increasing sampling to 50,000 per day besides actively pursuing contact tracing to at least 20 persons per positive patient and test them as per the protocol.

The officials in the meeting said 16 lakh people have so far been vaccinated in the state.

Mahajan also directed the departments concerned to address the issue of vaccination hesitancy by undertaking well-planned media campaigns.

Calling for strict monitoring of home isolated patients, she instructed the Health Department to optimally utilise manpower of other departments, if it faced shortage of staff.

“Health officials will ensure close monitoring of home isolated patients. They will visit every home isolated patient three times in ten days. If the condition of any patient deteriorates, the transfer to hospital in the fastest way possible will be ensured to bring down fatality rate,” she underlined.

Notably, Punjab on Friday reported 3,459 COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike so far, pushing the infection tally to 2,66,494.

The contagion took 56 more lives in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 7,390, according to a medical bulletin issued on Friday.

The state, which has a case fatality rate of around 2 per cent, had reported 3,187 infections as maximum daily cases on April 1.

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