The non-serious attitude of Punjab residents to stay indoors to control Covid-19, is shocking as the state already has around three times higher percentage of confirmed cases than national average. The lack of basic amenities like doctors and other paramedical staff coupled with the non-cooperation of residents have the potential to push the state towards disaster.
Manydays after the imposition of curfew in state, the residents can be seen roaming on various roads of state. Though initially residents preferred to stay indoor after cops start using sticks. But after the directions of Punjab CM and DGP to cops to be humane during duty, cops have gone soft, leading to rush of locals on roads. Presently Punjab government has given exemptions to medical emergency and for some other categories, but many residents are still coming on roads without any valid reasons as they do not understand the gravity of Covid-19, which has spread across the globe and killed thousands of residents. Punjab has a percentage of 7.5 positive reports while the national average is just 2.5 per cent.
Since Punjab lacks much needed money to make required arrangements to fight Covid-19, on Sunday Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has requested Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to amend the conditions for utilization of the 14th Finance Commission grants for emergency relief in urban areas. He has sought also asked her to advise the Ministries of Housing & Urban Affairs and Panchayati Raj to initiate immediate action in this regard so that the said grants can be used to make provision of emergency relief (medicines, food etc.) for the poorest sections by the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) .
Apart from CM , the other authorities have also started aggressively building up its stocks of life-saving equipment such as masks, gloves, ventilators, PPE kits etc, with large quantities of these materials already in stock and many more expected to be available over the next few days. Authorities have plans to arrange another 25000 N95 masks, in addition to the 52500 it already has in stock, along with 1 lakh Nitrile gloves before March 31,. Apart from it, state government already has at its disposal 26,32,000 Triple Layer Masks, another 12 lakh will get added to the inventory. Apart from it, state government has also ordered 1 lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits.
But state residents must understand that all such emergency measures of state government can only bring desired results, if state residents remain indoors to maintain social distancing. It’s the biggest battle we are fighting and residents has the moral responsibility to contribute as to best of their capacity.