Punjab ready for mega Covid vaccine rollout: Chief Secretary

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Vini Mahajan orders enhanced sampling to ensure early identification of Covid cases, reviews development projects in seven districts of Jalandhar division

Chandigarh/Jalandhar, December 12 (News India USA) – Punjab is all set for mega Covid vaccine rollout and all requisite protocols are being put in place to identify and vaccinate the people,  depending upon their risk and other factors, prioritising healthcare and frontline workers, said the Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan here on Saturday.

She said the state official machinery was fully geared up and all the necessary arrangements were in place to ensure smooth undertaking of such a large scale vaccination drive in the state. The vaccine was expected to reach the state possibly early next year. In the meantime, however, she urged the people to continue observing Covid appropriate behaviour, especially wearing of mask and maintaining social distancing, to minimise the further spread of the infection.

Mahajan was in Jalandhar as part of ongoing field visits to further improve  governance, speed up the development projects and ensure complete accountability, responsiveness and transparency in the delivery of public services at the grassroots level.

Chairing a review meeting of Deputy Commissioners of Jalandhar division, the Chief Secretary directed the Deputy Commissioners of seven districts under Jalandhar division to take up the testing momentum above thd present 30,000-mark daily besides ensuring a strict 24-hour deadline for test results, in order to minimise the impact of any possible second Covid wave in the state.

She directed the DCs to strictly enforce the fresh restrictions imposed on social gatherings and not to let the guards down in the state.

The districts of which the development projects and administrative working was reviewed at today’s meeting included Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, and Tarn Taran.

The Chief Secretary asked the DCs to ensure timely completion of the projects of key importance in their respective district. She expressed satisfaction over the development works that had been resumed even as the district administrations were occupied in the Covid response work.

The projects of key importance that came up for review at today’s meeting included the approach road of Adampur civil airport, functioning of the DAC in Amritsar, preparations for commencing Tarn Taran Law University, progress on the Delhi-Katra expressway project, and Smart City works.

The Chief Secretary was apprised of the Smart Village Campaign and the UEIP projects for Phase 1 would be completed by this December end and Phase 2 projects in both the rural and urban areas were under progress in full swing.

She expressed satisfaction over the progress of works amounting to Rs 11,000 crore being undertaken as part of UEIP in the state and works costing Rs 3,610 crore as part of the SVC in the state.

The Chief Secretary also asked the DCs to focus on ensuring 100 per cent availability of potable water and toilets in the schools and anganwadi centres till December end. She further instructed them to make every effort to tackle anaemia in adolescent girls and women.

Later, interacting with the media persons, the Chief Secretary said that the Punjab government was making all out efforts to combat the possible second wave of Covid pandemic as the sampling capacity in the state was being stepped up considerably.  She disclosed that presently 30,000 Covid tests were being conducted daily in the state, of which 75 per cent of samples were taken for RT-PCR tests. The RTPCR test ,being the gold standard, would be further stepped up.

She said that the aim behind holding such ground-level meetings with the officials was to get feedback on ongoing works and schemes of the government and to resolve any issues or constraints that are being faced by the districts.

Chief Secretary was accompanied by Financial Commissioner (Taxation) A Venu Prasad, Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Sarvjit Singh, Principal Secretary Planning Jaspal Singh, Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce Alok Shekhar, Principal Secretary PWD Jaspreet Talwar, and Secretary Local Government AK Sinha. Divisional Commissioner Raj Kamal Chaudhuri also attended the meeting.

Deputy Commissioners Ghanshyam Thori( Jalandhar) Apneet Riyait (Hoshiarpur), Deepti Uppal (Kapurthala), Mohamad Ishfaq (Gurdaspur), Sanyam Aggarwal (Pathankot), Kulwant Singh (Tarn Taran), Amritsar ADC Himanshu Aggarwal and Jalandhar Municipal Commissioner Karnesh Sharma attended the meeting.

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