Punjab Minister of Medical Education of Research, OP Soni said that under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder, Punjab Government has taken various initiatives to fight against the COVID-19.
The minister said the state government has created a capacity of 9000 COVID-19 tests per day in three 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 three medical colleges has been constituted. Around 85,000 samples have been tested in three medical colleges against total testing of 1,07,000 sample in Punjab by June 05.
He also 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 Soni.
Disclosing the future plans of the department, 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, 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.
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.