The Punjab government has announced that healthcare workers in the state, who do not get vaccinated to boost their immunity against coronavirus despite being given several opportunities, will have to bear the cost of treatment if they get infected at a later stage.
In a press communique, state Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the healthcare workers will not be allowed to avail any quarantine or isolation leave either.
The minister pointed out that recently, Punjab has seen an uprising trend in the number of COVID-19 cases. He said that with 358 cases being reported on February 20, about 3,000 COVID-19 positive cases are now active in the state while there were only 2,000 active cases (33% less) three weeks back. He said that there is a dire need to get vaccinated for all healthcare workers to deal with any unprecedented situation.
Singh added that Punjab is among the six states in the country where COVID-19 cases are rising.
“These rising cases indicating that COVID-19 is not over yet and Punjab may witness a surge in the number of COVID cases, highlights the need for following COVID appropriate behaviours like social distancing, wearing of a mask, hand sanitization and respiratory etiquettes,” he said.
Sidhu urged healthcare workers to shun hesitancy and come forward to get vaccinated at the earliest for their own safety along with their family members.
Expressing concern over the low rate of vaccination among the healthcare workers and frontline workers, Sidhu further said that so far, 2.06 lakh healthcare workers and 1.82 lakh frontline workers have been registered for COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccine is safe and effective and not even a single case of death or any serious adverse effect has reported in Punjab regarding vaccine administration so far, he said.
He informed that the last date of the availing first dose of vaccination for HCW has been extended from 19th February to 25 February. Every HCW and FLW must get vaccinated. He said that we all are at risk of getting infected and Health Care Workers being Front Line Workers dealing with patients are at higher risk of getting an infection.