Punjab set to cap COVID-19 charges in private hospitals

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Chandigarh [India], June 20 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that the state government will cap the COVID-19 hospitalisation and treatment rates of private hospitals and those not adhering to the same will be shut down. Singh termed such actions as 'anti-people' and 'anti-national' and warned that the private institutions would not be allowed to indulge in such shameless profiteering at the cost of the lives of people, according to an official release. "If these hospitals do not agree to the government rates, we will close them down," he said. With regard to the spike in COVID-19 cases in Punjab, Singh urged the Centre to make COVID-19 test certificates mandatory for people crossing the border. Expressing concern over the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, which he attributed to the large number of people coming from other places, the Chief Minister said that he had sought from the Centre permission to allow the state to make COVID-19 test certificates mandatory for all those crossing the border. In fact, those leaving Punjab should also carry similar certificates to check the spread of the coronavirus into other states, he added. "With 87,000 cars having entered Punjab from Delhi alone in recent days and the spike in cases in the past only due to outsiders, the threat of the pandemic spiralling further was acute," said the Punjab Chief Minister. Speaking on the state's medical preparedness, Singh said that 551 ventilators were already available with government and private hospitals and another 93 had been ordered. "The state government had also ordered 4 lakh more N95 masks to supplement the existing stock of 9.25 lakh. In addition, the state had 79 lakh triple-layered masks, 2.39 lakh PPE kits and 2200 oxygen cylinders," he said. As far as beds were concerned, more than 6,000 beds had been arranged in government hospitals and another 900 in private hospitals and currently, 2,500 were filled up. "In the second state, the state plans to add 10,000 more beds, to be followed by another 30,000 in the third stage, Singh said. (ANI)