Locked vaccination centres, absent medical staff and people seen roaming mask-less in hospitals. Such is the condition in Punjab as per India Today’s ground report.
In a video conference held by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country, Punjab’s Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh remarked, “People in Punjab are still not coming out in large numbers for vaccination due to the massive anger prevailing against the Government of India on the issue of farm laws. This anger is impacting the vaccination drive.”
Blaming the centre and the anger against the Farm laws, Captain Amarinder Singh dusted off his hands from being unable to inoculate the state population despite a surge in new Covid-19 cases. He stated that people’s resentment against the Centre is holding them back from getting vaccinated.
While the CM alleged that people are not coming forward to take the jab, he also claimed that the state is left with just five days of Covid-19 vaccine stock. He informed, “If the state is able to meet its target of two lakh vaccines a day, then its current supplies will last only three days.”
This has raised concerns pertaining to the seriousness in the state towards the Covid-19 vaccination drive. Punjab has so far vaccinated over 16 lakh people in the state.
The Ministry of Health inaugurated the four-day Tika Utsav starting yesterday to encourage people to take the jab, however, states like Punjab and Rajasthan raised a red flag of stock depletion even before the drive began.
As per India Today’s report, as opposed to the Punjab government’s claim of vaccinations being done on all seven days, the vaccination centre at Civil Hospital Mohali was found shut on Sunday. No doctors or medical staff were seen. Moreover, there were no beneficiaries spotted around the center either.
The report also claimed that patients and their kin were found roaming freely without masks in the hospital premises. Similar scenes were seen in the other parts of the city especially religious places and markets.
In order to encourage people to get vaccinated, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh flagged a vaccination campaign with Bollywood actor and ‘philanthropist’ Sonu Sood.
The CM in a tweet wrote, “Happy to share that actor & philanthropist @SonuSood will be the Brand Ambassador of our #Covid19 vaccination drive.”
Surge in cases
To add to the woes, the surge in cases has led to an acute shortage of health infrastructure in the state especially in the eight worst-hit districts of Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, SAS Nagar, SBS Nagar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Rupnagar.
In Ludhiana, 89 per cent of ICU beds, in SAS Nagar, 80 per cent of ICU beds in SAS Nagar, and in SBS Nagar, 70.6 per cent of ICU beds have already been occupied, the India Today report stated.
Restrictions imposed amid surge
The Punjab government has ordered a complete ban on political gatherings in the state till 30th April and a night curfew has been imposed across all districts from 9 pm to 5 am.
The state has shut all educational institutions and Anganwadi Centres and also restricted the number of people in outdoor and indoor social gatherings and in cinema halls and malls.