In a letter to the Secretary, Punjab Civil Aviation Department, Sidhu has sought details of expenditure on the use of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft by the state government during the past one-and-half-year under the Right to Information (RTI).
Amid reports regarding a growing black-market for the blood plasma, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that plasma will be provided free of cost by the state government to all those in need.
Amarinder directed the Health Department to strictly ensure that Covid patients are not charged for plasma therapy and that nobody is allowed to buy or sell plasma, which has proven a life-saver in many cases in the absence of any cure for Coronavirus.
Amid spiralling Covid infections and deaths, the CM also appealed to the recovered Covid patients to come forward to save the lives of others.
He urged deputy commissioners (DCs) and health department officials, during a Covid management review meeting, to motivate such patients to donate plasma. Currently, there are around 10000 recovered Covid patients in the state, he said. Reports say a black-market for the plasma was growing due to the desperation of families willing to do anything to save their loved ones infected with Covid-19.
The CM asked the health department to expedite setting up of two new Plasma Banks at Amritsar and Fardikot, to supplement the one already operational in Patiala.
Expressing concern over the increasing number of cases in the state, Amarinder also asked health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu to send a viable proposal for earmarking 10 beds in all the district hospitals for treatment and care of mild/minor cases of infection. The minister had earlier proposed such dedicated facilities in all the civil hospitals of the state.
The CM also asked the DCs to ensure proper coordination and care in the tertiary facilities for the very sick patients, and also work closely with the dedicated nodal officers appointed in five districts with the highest caseload. These officers have been tasked with ensuring high quality treatment in consultation with experts led by Dr KK Talwar.