As the state grapples with the coronavirus outbreak, Punjab Cabinet Ministers, Congress MLAs, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MPs and MLAs, IAS, IPS and PPS cadre officers on Monday announced to donate their one month salary to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
All the Ministers, led by the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, will contribute their one-month salary on account of donation towards the ‘Corona Virus Disaster Management and Relief Fund’.
Announcing the decision, the state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra said that this was a goodwill gesture of the Punjab Ministers to express their solidarity with the people of the state in their fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The government is pro-active in discharging its duty to provide the medical care and treatment of the people and to provide all essential services and amenities to the people in this crucial time,” he said.
He said that the State Government is also working shoulder to shoulder with all the workforce, which comprises Police Personnel, district administration, doctor, nurses, health workers, who are working at the ground zero to check the spread of COVID-19 in the State.
Maintaining that the Chief Minister has entrusted him the task of talking to all the Ministers in this regard to seek their approval to donate their one month salary into Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Mohindra said that he has talked with all the Ministers and they have given their consent in this regard.
In a similar move, to help those whose livelihood is affected as a result of the state-wide lockdown, all IAS (Indian Administrative Services) officers of Punjab cadre will contribute one-day salary to the Chief Minister Relief Fund.
The IPS and PPS officers of the State have also announced to donate a day’s salary for the welfare of police personnel involved in combating the deadly virus.
DGP Dinkar Gupta said all the Indian Police Service and Punjab Police Service officers have volunteered to contribute one day’s salary to the Police Welfare Fund towards welfare activities for the police personnel battling Coronavirus pandemic across the state.
A sum of nearly Rs. 33.2 lakhs is likely to be contributed as one day’s salary component of 121 IPS and 809 PPS officers in the State, said Gupta, adding that the said contribution would be utilized in making arrangements and initiating other welfare measures for the valiant police personnel, who are solely dedicated to supplement the efforts of the state for the containment of COVID-19 with firm commitment and zeal.
Not only those in power, but the opposition parties have also chipped in to contribute their one month salary. Aam aadmi party (AAP) MLA from Sunam Aman Arora also donated his salary to CM relief fund “to fight out COVID-19”.
Besides, SAD parliamentarians and well as legislators have also announced to donate one month’s salary to the Relief Fund to assist the Punjab Government’s efforts to provide treatment and succor to COVID-19 patients as well as take preventive steps to stop the spread of the pandemic.
The decision was taken after SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal held discussions with MPs MLAs on this issue. “Following a suggestion by the SAD president to lead the relief effort, all party MPs and legislators unanimously agreed to donate one month’s salary for this noble cause,” said the party’s official release.
At the same time, Sukhbir also issued an appeal to all party leaders and workers to contribute their might to combat the pandemic while urging the SAD district presidents to assist the District Administration in this task while reaching out to the doctors and patients in hospital by providing them much needed masks, ventilators and medicines or simply by ensuring free ‘langar’ service to the needy.
SAD MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder also announced Rs 50 lakh from his MPLAD fund for upgrading medical infrastructure in Mansa. For the same, he has written to the Mansa Deputy Commissioner.
SCREENING EVERY FOREIGN-RETURN ONLY WAY TO SAVE FROM COVID: MINISTER
Chandigarh: Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Monday said that the state Health Department is working on war footing to screen every foreign return passenger as screening is one of the way to save our people from COVID-19.
“As India has reached in second stage, there is need to quarantine all the foreign passengers following strict instruction laid by the Centre,” he said.
Besides such initiatives, the stamping of hands as well as marking of houses of quarantined persons is being made by the Health Department so that they can easily identify if they violate the instructions.
“It’s our collective responsibility to ensure cent percent compliance of Government’s instructions for the safety of living beings,” he added.
The Minister said that in the present scenario, anyone coming from any country abroad has to undergo mandatory isolation or quarantine for 14 days, if symptoms appear, confirmation tests are done free of cost to rule out COVID-19 infection.
Maintaining that Punjab has been on its toes ever to break the chain of transmission since the spread of COVID-19, Sidhu said: “The department has been taking series of preventive measures to make sure that the virus does not spread within the community. Intensive screening of foreign return passengers is being done by the frontline fighters of Health Department with the help of police and other departments across the State.”
“Massive, information education and communication (IEC) campaign has been launched by the department as part of which series of awareness campaign is being done through print, social and electronic media for educating people regarding mode of spread, symptoms,” he said.