No Isolation Leave for Health Workers Refusing Vaccine: Punjab Min
The health minister pointed out that recent days have seen a rise in coronavirus cases in Punjab.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Sunday, 21 February, warned healthcare workers who skipped their COVID-19 vaccine shots that they will not be allowed quarantine leave if they get infected at a later stage, and that they will have to bear the cost of their own treatment.
The state health minister, in an official statement, said:
“The healthcare workers who do not get vaccinated to boost their immunity for COVID-19 despite being given repeated opportunities and in case they get the infection at a later stage, they will have to bear the cost of their treatment and they will not be allowed to avail quarantine/isolation leave.”As quoted by PTI
The health minister further pointed out that recent days have seen a rise in coronavirus cases in Punjab, and said:
“There is a dire need that all healthcare workers should get themselves vaccinated to deal with any unprecedented situation.”
‘COVID Rising in Punjab, Must Fight it Like a Second Wave’
Further, Sidhu said Punjab is among the six states of the country where coronavirus cases were rising and therefore, they ought to be prepared to “fight it like a second wave”.
“These rising cases indicate that COVID-19 is not over yet and Punjab may witness a surge in the number of cases. Therefore, this highlights the need for following coronavirus appropriate behaviour like social distancing, wearing of a mask, hand sanitisation, and respiratory etiquette.”
Sidhu, according to PTI, expressed concern over the low rate of vaccination among healthcare and frontline workers.
He added that so far 2.06 lakh healthcare workers and 1.82 lakh frontline workers have registered for COVID-19 vaccination. Meanwhile, only 79,000 healthcare (HCW) and 4,000 frontline workers (FLW) have been vaccinated yet, he added, saying this coverage has not been up to the mark.
Further, Sidhu cautioned against being misled by rumours and misinformation and said:
“The vaccine is safe and effective and not even a single case of death or any serious adverse effect has been reported in Punjab regarding vaccine administration so far.”
He also said that the last date of taking the first dose of the vaccination had been shifted from 19 February to 25 February.
As per the health ministry, 383 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Punjab on Sunday, with 358 infections reported on Saturday, the figure rose to 3,000 active cases in the state as opposed to only 2,000 three weeks ago.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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