Chandigarh: Amid increasing number of Covid cases in the state, the Punjab government has appointed young IAS officers as nodal officers in Amritsar and Patiala to effectively manage the rising caseload in the two Government Medical Colleges, as well as coordinate with private sector hospitals providing tertiary level Covid care.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has also tasked the IAS officers with coordinating between the hospitals in the respective districts and the state government’s expert health advisory committee headed by Dr KK Talwar, besides managing the day-to-day functional needs and challenges relating to Covid testing, isolation, hospitalisation, treatment and discharge. They will coordinate with the private tertiary care hospitals to facilitate the best possible care for the patients with strict adherence to the fee cap and other norms put in place by the state government.
The Chief Secretary has also directed all DCs to identify dynamic young officers in their districts to track each and every Covid patient and coordinate their treatment and care and ensure timely and efficient healthcare facilities.

According to Vini, with these officers functioning as the one-point contact for all Covid related needs across hospitals and organisations, including Covid care centres, isolation centres, quarantine facilities, ambulance services, the process of managing the crisis will become more seamless and smooth for the patients and their families. The officers will have direct access to Dr Talwar’s advisory committee for urgent intervention and will also be available to patients for any support.The nodal officers will ensure that patients do not face any hassle or problem at any stage, and in the unfortunate event of death of a Covid patient, will also facilitate cremation/burial as per the ICMR protocols and guidelines, said Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan.

In Amritsar and Patiala, where the cases are significantly higher than in other districts, the nodal officers have been attached with the respective Government Medical Colleges as Incharge of Covid Care. As per the orders issued by the Chief Secretary, Surabhi Malik, IAS officer of 2012 batch, will handle Covid Care at GMC Patiala and Himanshu Aggarwal (IAS 2014) has been entrusted the charge of Covid Care at GMC Amritsar. The two young IAS officers have also been made incharge of tertiary Covid Hospitals (Level-III) in the respective districts, as well ex-officio Additional Secretary Medical Education and Research.

They will handle these tasks in addition to their current work. Surabhi Malik is currently Chief Administrator of Patiala Development Authority, as well as Registrar at Sports University Patiala, while Himanshu Aggarwal is Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) in Amritsar.

In separate orders, District Magistrate Ludhiana has appointed Sandeep Kumar, Additional DC (Development) as the nodal officer with the responsibility to similarly coordinate the care and treatment of Covid patients in the district from the time of their testing positive to their eventual cure/death. Other districts have also similarly identified their nodal officers for patient tracking.

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