Chandigarh, July 20 (IANS) Punjab will, this month, initiate the third sentinel sero-surveillance survey, especially focused on children in the age group of 6-17 years, ahead of the imminent third wave, for which Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announced Rs 331 crore in addition to the money already allotted for the Emergency Covid Response.With this, Punjab will become the only state in the country to get a children-dominated sero survey conducted to assess the prevalence of the infection among under-18.The Chief Minister also ordered establishment of a paediatric unit in each district and one centre of excellence in paediatrics for the state.The government will also establish LMO storage tanks in every district to ensure 24X7 availability of medical grade oxygen, he said.Medical gas pipeline systems will also be set up at each district, sub-division and community health centre, he said, also announcing the establishment of 17 additional RT-PCR labs.The ICU beds in government hospitals will also be increased to 142, and a hub and scope model for telemedicine and teleconsultation will also be established, said Amarinder Singh.The Chief Minister said the outcomes of the third sentinel sero-surveillance survey will be utilised to determine further localised restrictions as the state prepares for the third wave. GIS-based surveillance and prevention tools will be used with an auto trigger mechanism for localised restrictions, he disclosed.Health Adviser, Dr K.K. Talwar disclosed, in response to a query from the Chief Minister, that in the first and second wave, 10 per cent of those infected were under 18, and while there was no concrete data to support such a projection, the state was preparing to handle more cases of children in the third wave.Health Secretary Hussan Lal apprised the Chief Minister that the process of modifications in COVA had started for capturing of required parameters, linked to sample collection and reporting system outside ICMR system. The same was likely to be functional in a week.The Chief Minister asked the Health Department to expedite recruitments for all posts for which Cabinet approval has already been taken. He noted that advertisement for 481 Specialists had already been issued by the Health Department for walk-in interviews on July 31.The Medical Education and Research Department has also begun the process of filling its vacancies in the coming month, he added.Amarinder Singh expressed satisfaction over the strategy for preparation of the third wave, pointing out that testing has been maintained at around 40,000- 45,000 a day, with special focus on high density areas and vulnerable population. Contact tracing has also been maintained at 18 per positive patient.He said he was happy to note that data cells have been activated in each district. The newly-recruited Community Medicine Specialists posted in each district must be immediately given charge of these data cells, he ordered.The Chief Minister directed that the Whole Genome Sequencing Lab at Government Medical College in Patiala should become functional this month.--IANSvg/vd
Chandigarh, July 20 (IANS) Schools for Class 10 to 12 in Punjab are all set to open from July 26, with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announcing further relaxations, including increase in the number of people in indoor gatherings to 150 and outdoors to 300, subject to an upper limit of 50 per cent capacity.Taking note of the decline in Covid positivity to 0.3 per cent, with reproduction number at 0.75 for Punjab (lower than the national average), he said schools will be allowed to open for classes 10 to 12, but only those teachers and staff, who are fully vaccinated, shall be allowed to be physically present.Physical presence of the students shall be purely at the consent of the parents and the option of virtual classes shall be continued. An undertaking to this effect shall be submitted to the Deputy Commissioners concerned, he directed.If the situation remains under control, the remaining classes shall similarly be allowed to open from August 2, the Chief Minister announced, pointing out that the Cambridge University has predicted that the cases shall further decline in the coming weeks.With respect to social gatherings, he said artistes and musicians shall be allowed at such functions or celebrations in all areas, with adherence to due Covid protocols.The relaxations came days after the Chief Minister had ordered opening of bars, cinema halls, restaurants, spas, swimming pools, coaching centres, sports complexes, gyms, malls, museums, zoos, etc, at 50 per cent with vaccine compliance.He had also earlier allowed colleges, coaching centres and all other institutions of higher learning to open with similar compliance.The Chief Minister, during a virtual review meeting of the Covid situation, said that the month-wise whole genome sequencing has shown that more than 90 per cent is a variant of concern i.e. the original virus has been practically replaced by variants, and the Delta variant remained predominant even in June. However, there are no new cases of the Delta Plus variant, he noted.--IANSvg/vd
Hyderabad, July 11 (IANS) A female resident doctor of the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow was Sunday airlifted to the KIMS Hospital Secunderabad here for lung transplant.Dr Sharda Suman, a postgraduate resident at RMLIMS's Gynaecology Department, had contracted Covid-19 on April 14. She was 32 weeks pregnant then. When her health condition deteriorated, she was put on a ventilator and emergency C-section surgery was done on May 1 to save the child.After the delivery, she was put on ECMO supportm but her condition didn't improve. RMLIMS Director Dr Sonia Nityanand constituted a 3-member committee which recommended that she should undergo a lung transplant. As her family was not in a financial position to afford the process, Dr Nityanand personally met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and explained the situation. He immediately sanctioned Rs 1.50 crore required for the procedure.After consulting the hospitals in Hyderabad and Chennai, they finally decided to undergo the transplant procedure at KIMS Hospitals, where already several transplants were done with utmost success.Sharda Suman was shifted to Hyderabad through an air ambulance. A green corridor was formed with the help of Hyderabad police to bring the patient to the hospital from airport without any delay.--IANSms/vd
Chandigarh, July 9 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday asked authorities to step up whole genome sequencing to expeditiously identify cases of new Covid variants and to fast track the project for execution of the pact with the ICMR for Regional Institute of Virology in Mohali.Though no fresh cases of Delta Plus variant, apart from two reported earlier based on May sampling, had been identified in the state, he directed that the whole genome sequencing lab at the Government Medical College in Patiala must become functional this month.Reviewing the Covid situation, the Chief Minister noted with satisfaction that the state was also starting dry swab testing, with a pilot in Patiala next week.Sensitivity of the dry swab variant method is 79 per cent and specificity is 99 per cent when compared with standard RT-PCR test as the gold standard. Considering its lesser cost and quick turnaround, the dry swab variant method can be used as a screening tool only in settings where automated RNA extraction is not available.--IANSvg/vd
Chandigarh, July 9 (IANS) With the state's Covid-19 positivity rate sliding to 0.4 per cent, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered lifting of weekend and night curfew, and allowed gatherings of 100 persons indoors and 200 outdoors from Monday.At the same time, he directed the Director General of Police to fine all political leaders violating Covid behavior rules while holding rallies and protest meetings.Even as he hoped that better sense will prevail on the political parties and leaders brazenly violating curbs by holding massive protests, he asked DGP Dinkar Gupta to issue challans against those indulging in anti-Covid behaviour.The Chief Minister also ordered opening of bars, cinema halls, restaurants, spas, swimming pools, gyms, malls, sports complexes, museums, zoos, etc., subject to all eligible staff members and visitors having taken at least one dose each of the vaccine.Though schools will continue to remain closed, colleges, coaching centres and all other institutions of higher learning will be allowed to open by the Deputy Commissioner concerned, subject to a certificate having been submitted that all teaching, non-teaching staff, and students have been given at least one dose of vaccination, at least two weeks ago.The Chief Minister, while reviewing the Covid situation virtually, said the situation will again be reviewed on July 20. Strict use of masks must be ensured at all times, he directed, while announcing the easing of restrictions.Heath Secretary Hussan Lal said four districts had shown positivity of one or less than one per cent, but the districts that still needed vigilance were Ludhiana, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, and Ropar.Referring to the cases of black fungus, which has been reported in 623 patients as of July 8, the Chief Minister asked the Health Department to work out a proposal for supporting and helping in the treatment of such patients.Of the 623 cases, 67 are from outside the state, the Health Secretary informed the meeting, adding that 337 cases were under treatment and 154 had been discharged while 51 patients had died.The maximum cases reported in a day were 34 on May 27, while the average of daily cases in the first week of July stood at 5.--IANSvg/vd
Mumbai, July 8 (IANS) A 17-year-old orphan boy from Kolkata was given a new lease of life by a Mumbai doctor who successfully removed a large coconut-sized stone weighing 1 kg from an augmented urinary bladder.Rajiv Redkar, a consultant paediatric surgeon at the S.L. Raheja Hospital, a Fortis associate hospital in Mahim, removed the calcium oxalate stone from the bladder of the boy and also reconstructed a urinary bladder during the complicated and rare surgery on June 30.The boy, Reuben Sheikh, has responded to the surgery very well. His kidneys are now well protected and functioning fine, Redkar said.Sheikh was born with an exposed urinary bladder and a malformed penis. He suffered from Exstrophy-Epispadias Complex (EEC) which is a rare condition found in one in 1,00,000 live births. The biggest complication in such cases is that the exposed bladder can't store urine or function normally, resulting in urine leakage.When Sheikh was around 2 years old, Redkar had performed a Bladder Augmentation and Mitrofanoff Procedure to create a new tube on his belly through which he could urinate by using a catheter."The tube was made from the appendix, and it connected the bladder to a small hole created in the belly button. However, after his treatment, he went back to Kolkata and did not follow up," said Redkar, who was then practising at the Wadia Hospital."A few days ago, he called me for help as he was experiencing severe discomfort, pain and inability to control urination. When I presented this case to our management, the hospital decided to treat him free of cost," he added. His treatment at Wadia was sponsored."I am extremely grateful to Dr Redkar and Fortis SL Raheja Hospital for giving me a new lease of life. I did not have any money to get myself treated. When I called Dr Redkar, he immediately asked me to come to Mumbai and said he would help. I was then informed that the hospital was willing to treat me free of cost. I am now feeling better and will surely maintain my health and do my follow-ups," Sheikh said.--IANSrvt/arm
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