As the country remains grappled with second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Punjab on Monday, imposed stricter curbs till May 15, to contain the rapidly surging cases.
Since the past week, Punjab is recording over 7,000 cases daily with the number reaching 7,327 on Sunday making it the highest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic.
Punjab Health Minister, Balbir Singh Sidhu in an interview with Moneycontrol.com said that the state has all the required resources apart from oxygen supply, Remedesvir and vaccines.
“We have the infrastructure, we have the workforce, but we’re facing shortage of oxygen supply, Remdesivir and vaccines which is the Centre’s responsibility,” he said.
Punjab CM Capt. Amrinder Gill has put off the vaccination drive for the age-group of 18-45 years, which was to begin on May 1, as the vaccine supply dwindled during surging cases. Sidhu said that an order of 30 lakh vaccine doses has already been placed to the Serum Institute of India (SII), but they haven’t supplied the doses yet.
“We have placed an order of 30 lakh vaccine doses to the Serum Institute of India (SII), but they will provide us the vaccine after May 15 as their priority is the Centre,” he said. “We have an infrastructure to vaccinate 3 lakh people per day, but the centre is inconsistent in allocating number of vaccine doses,” he added
To address the issue of scarcity of oxygen supply in Punjab, the oxygen from industries is being rerouted to Covid care centres.
“Supply of oxygen in industries has been limited and is being diverted for treatment of COVID-19 patients,” Sidhu said. “We’re also taking help from the military to contain rising covid cases,” he added.