An all party meeting was held here today to take suggestions of opposition members and to make them review the actions being taken by the government actions to control the Covid pandemic in the state.
Besides Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, and Cabinet ministers Suresh Bhardwaj and Govind Thakur, Opposition leader Mukesh Agnihotri, Asha Kumari, Col Dhani Ram Shandil, CPI(M) legislators Rakesh Singha and party leader Kuldeep Singh Tanwar were part of the same at 0930 hrs in the State Guest house Peterhoff.
Briefing media persons after the meeting Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Mukesh Agnihotri said that Opposition authorized the government to take all the necessary steps to save maximum lives of people as the situation of the pandemic has become uncontrollable. He said that Govt before tightening the restriction or impose partial lockdown should compensate the affected people by transferring a minimum rehabilitation package into their account through direct transfer. This shall help masses from getting ruined as many have rendered jobless in the restrictions.
“It is now upon the government to impose complete or partial lockdown but everything should be done with intention of safeguarding maximum population of the state,” stated Leader of opposition. He added, ” We think that actual right time to impose curfew or lockdown is already over as there are around 1.25 lakh cases mounted and number of casualties are alarming in the state.” Adding,” The decision of imposing restrictions is prerogative of council of ministers however opposition wants that it should keep the public constraint in mind as people are not getting salaries in tourism and hospitality unit should be provided package by the government, he added.
Agnihotri expressed concern over the covid-19 cases and sharp surge in Covid related deaths. He also expressed concern over delay in getting test report of Covid.
He assured the government that the Opposition was with the government and would fully support its decisions in larger interest of the public. He suggested common facility centres at Pandoga and Bathu in Una district for treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Senior Congress leader Asha Kumari said that availability of essential medicines such as remdesivir must also be ensured particularly in all district hospitals and medical colleges.
Senior Congress leader Col. (Dr.) Dhani Ram Shandil felt the need for increasing deployment of additional ambulances for transportation of Covid patients.
CPI(M) legislator Rakesh Singha said that they have urged the government to properly declare containment zone properly as the cases surge and casualty rate have gone higher than the national level. He said that Govt should also follow the WHO guidelines than imposing restrictions in the state to contain the outbreak. There should be effective mechanism in place to provide Oxygenated beds in the state and increase in the Vaccination process on war footing. Singha said that workers and common man who are affected by the partial lockdown should be provided safe exist or proper compensation. Singha said that govt should priorities to save lives of people and should not bother to extend helping hand who are facing livelihood constraints currently. Singha also suggested to measure to cope up the economic burden to face the Covid pandemic. We are going through tough time and govt should do everything to save lives and protect people forgetting the about the means.
Chief Minister said
Jai Ram Thakur said that the current oxygen production capacity in the state was 53 MT, which includes 15 MT state quota from INOX, Solan. The state has urged the union government to increase the state quota to 30 MT. Currently, the state has oxygen cylinders filling capacity at nine places and PSA plants have been commissioned at Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital Shimla, zonal hospital, Dharamshala and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri government medical college Ner Chowk.
He said that union government has recently sanctioned six new oxygen plants for the state which would be established at civil hospital Palampur, zonal hospital Mandi, civil hospitals Rohru and Khaneri in Shimla district, Dr. Y.S Parmar government medical college, Nahan and regional hospital Solan.
The government of India has already sanctioned seven oxygen plants for the state and once fully functional, these plants would ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply not only within the state but also to the entire region. The state government has also urged the central government to provide 5000 D-type and 3000 B-type cylinders to Himachal Pradesh.
The Chief Minister said that adequate manpower was also being ensured in all the health institutions of the state. The doctors were being recruited besides deployment of nurses, para-medical and other supporting staff on outsource basis. He said that services of 4th and 5th year MBBS students, junior and senior resident doctors, nursing students etc. was being taken to care for the patients. The efforts were also being made to rope in private labs for undertaking RT-PCR tests so that test reports could be accelerated.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the government was striving hard to increase the bed capacity in various health institutions. The Ner Chowk medical college has been designated as Covid hospital having a bed capacity of 300 beds. Similarly, MCH Sundernagar and Mandi have also been designated as dedicated Covid hospitals.
He said that work on MCH Mandi has been expedited and would be completed within a month. The new OPD block of IGMC Shimla would also be used for Covid patients which would ensure bed capacity of 300 beds. The Army hospital (Walker) in Shimla would also be used for treatment of Covid patients. He said that additional bed capacity of about 1000 would be created at Radhaswami Satsang complex at Paraur in Kanggra district and about 200 beds at Radha Swami Satsang complex, Mandi.
The Chief Minister said that vaccination drive was also going on smoothly in the state and about 18.80 lakh vaccination doses had been administered to the eligible group till date.
It was also decided in the All Party Meeting to donate one month salary of all the MLAs towards the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Fund.