IEP CHANDIGARH, July 31
Following the directives of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh on Monday chaired a high-level Inter-Departmental Coordination Meeting of Ministers to institute measures to prevent the spread of water and vector-borne in the state. He was accompanied by Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Bram Shanker Jimpa, Punjab Transport Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar and Punjab Local Government Minister Balkar Singh. Dr Balbir Singh, while reviewing the activities being carried out by various departments to deal with the growing threat of dengue, Malaria and other vector-borne diseases, instructed all the departments to work in tandem to control the spread of these diseases. He also appealed to people to keep vigil and clean all the vulnerable points including fridge trays, coolers, containers, pots, terraces etc in houses, offices or any places where there is a possibility of stagnation of water. The ministers said that this is the only way to break the breeding cycle of mosquitoes, which could mature from egg to adult in just one week. The Health Minister said that the situation with respect to vector-borne diseases in Punjab is very well under control as of now. A total of 440 dengue cases have been detected in Punjab till date from the start of the season, out of which the active case count of dengue stands at 114. It is pertinent to mention here that no dengue death has been reported till now. The department has identified 10 hotspots in Punjab where health teams have been deployed for active surveillance and are monitored on a daily basis by the state authorities. Moreover, 855 breeding checkers have also been pressed into action which are hired during the breeding season. The Health Minister also urged the departments of health, local government, water supply and sanitation, transport and rural development to rope in village health, sanitation and nutrition committees (VHSNCs) and Mahila Arogya Samiti (MAS) to conduct checking at different areas and residences areas to keep a vigil on mosquito larvae, and also directed to issue challan in case of violation. He also requested them to appoint nodal officers are state level, as well as, at district level for better coordination between all the related departments. Dr Balbir Singh said that the health department has set up special wards with 1300 beds to tackle any kind of emergency in case there is a rise in cases of dengue, malaria and chikungunya. The test and treatment of dengue and malaria is completely free of cost at all the government health facilities, he added. Meanwhile, amid the rise in cases of contagious eye flu and skin infections, the Health Minister advised people to not to touch their eyes after shaking hands with someone or touching something at public places to save themselves from this infection. Touch your eyes only after washing your hands properly, he added.