CAPT AMARINDER WARNS OF STRICT ACTION, IMPOUNDING OF PASSPORTS, FOR NOT DECLARING TRAVEL HISTORY

AUTHORISES SERVICE EXTENSION BY 3 MONTHS FOR RETIRING HEALTH DEPT EMPLOYEES

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS THANKS EMPLOYEES DONATING SALARIES, NGOs/RELIGIOUS BODIES & FRONTLINE WORKERS

CHANDIGARH, April 4:Amid the COVID-19 crisis in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday warned of strict action, including impounding of passports, of those who fail to declare their travel history.

At the first Cabinet meeting to review the current situation in the state, the Chief Minister said there could be no compromise on this count and anyone found hiding their travel history from police/health department personnel would be dealt with strictly. “We will take away their passports too,” he warned.

To further strengthen the state government’s battle against the unprecedented crisis triggered by the global pandemic, Captain Amarinder also authorized extension for all retiring Health Department employees by three months, as proposed by Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh. A detailed list will be submitted later to the Chief Minister for approval, according to an official spokesperson.

This was decided as the death toll due to COVID-19 went up to five, with 57 positive cases being reported in Punjab.

The Council of Ministers passed three resolutions thanking various categories of people for their exceptional contribution to the battle against COVID-19. These related to those government employees who had decided to donate a portion of their salaries; all NGOs and religious organizations for playing a pivotal role in persuading people to avoid congregation/gathering, and frontline officers and workers, including police, health staff, sanitation and Anganwadi workers, fighting against the Corona virus.

The Chief Minister said his government was immensely grateful to all those who were extending support in any manner and he would be personally thanking all of them.

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PUNJAB GOVT ANNOUNCES RS 50 LAKH INSURANCE COVER FOR FRONTLINE COPS & SANITATION WORKERS

CABINET GIVES FULL AUTHORITY TO PROCUREMENT COMMITTEE TO PURCHASE ESSENTIAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES

CAPT AMARINDER ORDERS STRICT ACTION AGAINST PVT HOSPITALS SHUTTING OPERATIONS OR REFUSING TREATMENT TO COVID-19 PATIENTS

DECISION TAKEN TO GRADUALLY SCALE UP PREPAREDNESS FOR COVID-19 CASES, PREPARE CONTINGENCY PLAN

CHANDIGARH, APRIL 4:The Punjab Government on Saturday announced special health insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs each for the police personnel and sanitation workers in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19, on the lines of that announced for health workers by the Centre.

As an emergency measure to combat COVID-19, the Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh also authorized the Procurement Committed headed by ACS Vini Mahajan to do quick price discovery for all purchases related to COVID-19 management and containment, and make purchases on urgent basis. The committee has been authorized to make spot purchases and exigency procurements, bypassing normal procedures, in exercise of emergency powers under the National Disaster Management ACT 2005.

The Cabinet also allowed the Procurement Committee to procure essential and emergent medical items at prevalent market prices as the same had risen substantially due to widespread demands due to COVID Management.

The Chief Minister directed that no bureaucratic hassles should be allowed to come in the way of any urgent purchases that may be needed in this critical hour.

Taking serious note of shutdown of operations by several private hospitals, the Cabinet decided on strict action against such hospitals, with the Chief Minister suggesting that the health department should cancel the licences of hospitals refusing to treat COVID-19 patients. Terming it a cowardly act, the Chief Minister said they cannot go into hiding at such a critical time.

The Council of Ministers, which met through a Video Conference to review the current situation in the state, decided that the arrangements to manage COVID patients should be scaled up gradually to cater to larger number of patients, keeping in view the: Harvesting & Procurement of Wheat; Rising trend in the country and state as well as apprehensions of community spread (stage 3); and Prevalence of an unknown and unprecedented pandemic.

Contingency plan should be prepared with alternative locations, equipment, and officers to deal with any emergent situation whereby any of the existing arrangements fail/collapse, it was further decided.

The Council of Ministers further decided that should do distant/remote monitoring and avoid going out in groups in this critical situation.

The Health Department earlier informed the Cabinet that once the rapid testing kits and the final guidelines come in from the Government of India, rapid tests will begin in the state to speed up the identification of positive cases. The rapid testing will be done for symptomatic and asymptomatic cases at all the hot spots, while symptomatic cases will be similarly tested in the non-hot spot areas. The department has already started community testing in hot spots, the Cabinet was further informed.

Contact tracing of the Nizamuddin returnees was being done on an aggressive scale and 192 persons from the list of 255 received by the state had already been tested and isolated, the Health Department further disclosed. In addition, tracking was being done for all the foreign returned, as well as high-risk categories such as healthcare professionals, police etc.

So far, contact tracing had been done for 1600 , including 846 high-risk personnel and of them, 34 had tested positive. Geographical mapping was also being done of the movement of patients from their locations to hospitals. People were cooperating in the contact tracing process, as per the health department.

The Cabinet was further informed that there were enough PPEs for the health staff. Health Minister Balbir Singh Sandhu said it 1000 PPEs each were being made available at each Government hospital.

On the preparedness for tackling further spread of the disease, the cabinet was informed that 5000 isolation beds have been identified, of which 2500 are already operational. Buildings, including hostels, are being taken over and declared isolated for the creation of such facilities, with the state planning for 20000 cases

To further strengthen the supplies, 20 industries have been identified for manufacturing of PPE kits and N95 masks, and five of these have already been approved. Another half a dozen industries have been identified for the manufacture of low-cost ventilators.

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CAPT AMARINDER ASKS ALL DEPTS TO CUT EXPENSES TO BATTLE COVID-19, SEEKS PROPOSALS BY APRIL 8

Chandigarh, April 4:Underlining the need for generating resources to deal with the COVID-19 medical emergency on priority, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered expenditure cuts by all government departments to meet urgent expenses needed to deal with the current crisis.

He has asked all the state departments to submit detailed proposals, by April 8, on expenditure cuts to be made over the next few weeks.

“We have to save people, that should be our priority,” said the Chief Minister at the meeting of the Council of Minister, adding that resources have to be made available to Health, Police and other concerned departments directly involved in the current battle, which threatens to be a long one.

With no additional revenues coming in, the only way out was to cut expenditure, he stressed, adding that every department would need to make cuts in order to generate revenue for the critical care services.

Finance Minister Manpreet Badal earlier told the Cabinet that the state would suffer Rs 5000 crore in revenue losses in April, and the figure was expected to go up further in the absence of revenue from GST and petroleum taxes.

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CAPT AMARINDER DIRECTS DGP TO FINALISE SECURITY PLAN FOR SMOOTH PROCUREMENT

PURCHASE CENTRES ASKED TO NOTIFY ARRANGEMENTS BY APRIL 7-8, STAGGERED HARVESTING TO BE ENSURED TO COMBAT COVID-19

Chandigarh, April 4:Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to finalise a comprehensive security plan to ensure smooth procurement of the wheat grain, while directing purchase centres to notify details of procurement arrangements by April 7-8, 2020.

Reviewing the state’s preparedness on this count along with his cabinet colleagues, the Chief Minister stressed that the procurement arrangements should be put in place in a manner that every grain of the farmers is procured though in a staggered manner.

All purchase centers should cater to COVID preventive measures, and also for food, water, shelter and medical requirements for all those required to be in these centers for procurement of wheat. Details of procurement arrangements should be notified by 7-8th April 2020, the Council of Ministers decided.

To ensure timely payment to the farmers, it has been decided that payments shall be made to the Arhtiyas within 48 hours and they will, in turn, pay the farmers for the produce within the next 48 hours. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had yesterday directed his Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar to get the rules amended to provide for payment to farmers through Arhtiyas, saying that any changes in the system, including direct bank transfers, should be put in abeyance in the current circumstances.

To stagger harvesting, combines will be allowed to operate through the day, from 6 a.m and 7 p.m. an official spokesperson said after the Cabinet meeting. Further, to ensure smooth and speedy operations, maximum number of labourers shall be permitted for unloading operations at Storage sites.

Given the need to prevent overcrowding, the state government is working with Arhtiyas and sheller owners to add 3000 purchase centres this year, with coupons to be issued to the farmers and others involved in the process. A total of 1820 purchase centres will be available for procurement.

The Cabinet was informed that sufficient stocks of gunny bags, wooden crates and tarpaulins for storage were being arranged to ensure smooth procurement operations.

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Technical Education Board to give Rs 5 crore in CM's relief fund: Channi

  • Cabinet Minister Channi announces to give one month salary in CM’s Relief Fund, inspired by him all the departments, boards and universities under him also comes forward to contribute in CM’s Relief Fund
  • Officials of department under him decides that Group A & B will give 7 days, Group C -3 days and Group D one day salary in the Chief Minister's Relief Fund

Chandigarh, April 4: The Punjab Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh is fighting a war against the Corona virus in the stat and the Punjab Technical Education Board has come forward to join this war to defeat this deadly virus. The Punjab Cabinet Minister Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi in press statement issued here today said that the Punjab Technical Education Board would contribute Rs 5 crore in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

The Minister said that he has already announced to deposit his one month salary in CM Relief Fund and now on his inspiration departments under him i.e Technical Education and Industrial Training department, Employment Generation and Training department, Tourism and Cultural Affairs department, Punjab Skill Development mission, IKGPTU and MRSPTU have also come forward to contribute in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

As per the decision taken by these officers and employees, Group A and B to contribute 7 days virus.salary , Group B 3 days and Group D one day salary in the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

The Cabinet Minister Mr. Channi thanked all the officials and employees for their contribution for the service of humanity in the crises and also appealed to the Industrialists and other private, religious and social organizations to make maximum contribution in the fight against the deadly