Punjab to cap Covid treatment rates in private hospitals
Chandigarh: The Punjab government will cap Covid hospitalisation and treatment rates of private hospitals, and those not adhering to them will be shut down, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Saturday.
The fee structure for private hospitals and clinics is expected to be finalised by Monday, the Chief Minister said during his #AskCaptain live session on Facebook.
Taking a strict view of the complaints of exorbitant fee being charged by private hospitals, the Chief Minister termed such actions as 'anti-people' and 'anti-national' and warned that the private institutions would not be allowed to indulge in such shameless profiteering at the cost of the lives of the people.
"If these hospitals do not agree to the government rates, we will close them down," he added.
Expressing concern over the spike in Covid cases in the state, which he attributed to the large number of people coming from other places, the Chief Minister said that he had sought from the Centre the permission to allow the state to make Covid test certificates mandatory for all those crossing the border.
Amarinder Singh said that he had raised the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter's video conference with Chief Ministers to review the Covid situation.
With 87,000 cars entering Punjab from Delhi alone in recent days, the spike in cases in the past few days was only due to outsiders, and the threat of the pandemic spiralling was acute, said the Chief Minister.
He said he had requested the Prime Minister to allow entry of only those with valid Covid-free certificates.
In fact, those leaving Punjab should also carry similar certificates to check the spread of coronavirus in other states, he said.
Even as he reiterated the state's full preparedness for handling the Covid crisis, with no shortage of equipment and supplies, the Chief Minister said the battle had to be fought collectively by all, with every citizen taking the onus to check the spread of the disease by following all norms of social distancing, wearing of masks, etc.
While appealing to people to wear masks and maintain social distancing, the Chief Minister also urged them to go for early testing and treatment as that was the best way to ensure recovery.
For the first time, there had been an increase in the number of people on oxygen and ventilator support, he said, adding that the situation was explosive, with cases rising around the world.
With easing of restrictions and more testing, the numbers would continue to spike, he warned, adding that timely intervention and adherence to protocols was imperative to save lives.
On a question regarding some industrialists wanting to bring back labourers to the state at their own expense, the Chief Minister said they were most welcome to do so but would need to ensure strict home quarantine for the returnees for 14 days.
On the issue of Sikhs in Uttar Pradesh being relocated, Amarinder Singh said he had spoken to his UP counterpart Yogi Adityanath and was hopeful that the latter would stop the move.
If that does not happen, he will take up the matter with the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister added.