Punjab Government has taken various initiatives for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic : Soni
3 Government Medical Colleges of Punjab have COVID testing capacity of 9000 tests per day: Soni
85000 samples tested in 3 medical colleges against total testing of 107000 samples in Punjab by June 5th
4 additional new viral testing labs would be set up soon
Chandigarh, June 5:
Mr. O.P. Soni, Minister of Medical Education of Research, Punjab today said that under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder,Punjab Government has taken various initiatives for the fight against the COVID-19.
He said that governement created a capacity of 9000 COVID-19 tests per day in the 3 Government Medical Colleges. To take care of the testing quality, an expert group under Vice Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences and doctors of 3 medical colleges has been constituted. In addition, 5 samples per week were being sent to PGIMER, Chandigarh for quality audit. 85000 samples have been tested in 3 medical colleges against total testing of 107000 sample in Punjab by June 05.
Giving the details of the initiatives taken by the Medical Education and Research department for the testing and treatment of COVID-19, he said “As part of testing strategy on 9th March COVID viral testing lab in GMC Patiala and on 10 March in Amritsar was started in each medical college. On 12th April COVID viral testing lab was also started in Faridkot. Our faculty members, para-medics, lab technicians all have worked very hard to start these labs in minimum possible time”, he added.
“For setting up of the labs in 3 medical colleges we have taken help from Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University , Ludhiana, IIT Ropar, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Lovely Professional University Jalandhar, Central University, Bathinda and Punjabi University, Patiala” said Mr. Soni.
Disclosing the future plans of the department, Mr. Soni said that 4 additional new viral testing labs at Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (North Zone), Jalandhar, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University Ludhiana, State Forensic Science Lab Mohali, Punjab Biotech Incubator Mohali would be set up soon. “We are also in touch with IISER, NABI, NIPER to start new viral testing labs being central government institutions. Punjab Government provided support to Dayanand Medical College and Christian Medical College, Ludhiana in starting their viral testing labs. Now with increase testing capacity, we will be able to provide more data for COVID care to get better status on the disease spread as well as better understanding of treatments” he added.
To monitor all labs, their testing equipment, the requirement of consumables and to improve overall efficiency, an IT system has been developed and the data is readily shared with the Department of Health Services, Punjab as well as with ICMR.
Briefing about the treatment capacity of 3 Government Medical Colleges, Cabinet Minister said that these medical colleges have 1100 isolation beds out of which 1006 beds are with oxygen and 134 ventilators are available to take care of most critical cases. “With the help of Dr. K.K.Talwar, Advisor, Health & Medical Education, Punjab Government, three expert groups have been constituted to take care of level-2, level-3 and specialised training. The expert group for level-3 (critical care) and specialised training have been created under the chairmanship of Dr. G.D.Puri, Dean, PGIMER, Chandigarh, level-2 group has been created under Dr. Bishav Mohan, Prof. DMC, Ludhiana. The experts from PGIMER, AIIMS, all the 3 medical colleges of government, DMC, CMC are members of these expert groups who are regularly providing guidance and information to the doctors in the field in order to provide the best possible treatment to the patients”, said Mr. Soni.
In order to effectively utilize services of private tertiary care hospitals of the state, surveys have been conducted by faculty from 3 government medical colleges to assess their facilities and suitability as COVID hospitals or as multi-specialty hospitals. “For tertiary care, we have identified an additional 563 ICU beds and 133 ventilators for COVID, out of a total available 2343 ICU beds and 692 ventilators in the private sector”, he added.
Furthering the handholding of level 2 facilities, experts from 3 government medical colleges & DMC Ludhiana in medicine and pulmonary medicine have been deputed as nodal experts for each district, wherein the doctors from the health department will be able to consult directly with the experts regarding treatment protocols etc. to be adopted for individual patients as per health parameters.
Efforts have been made to provided dedicated manpower to the hospitals. The government has approved additional manpower for fighting COVID-19. Total 156 posts for labs and 1822 posts for tertiary care for three government medical colleges has been allowed to COVID care.
To take care of the existing faculty and paramedics etc. quarantine facilities have been provided in all the 3 government medical colleges keeping in view the proper protocol. All doctors, paramedics and staff are regularly updated on the latest protocols with frequent training and have joined iGOT-Diksha for online trainings. An IT-based system for monitoring the patient has been developed.