Sukhbir, more than 400 SAD, AAP workers booked for holding dharnas
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and 225 other party leaders/workers were booked on Monday under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act for having gathered to hold a protest in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, police said.
Sukhbir and others were holding a protest against Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu in Mohali for alleged irregularities in the sale of Covid-19 vaccines and purchase of medical kits.
Besides Sukhbir, ex-MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, MLAs Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, NK Sharma, ex-ministers Daljit Singh Cheema, Janmeja Singh Sekhon and others have been booked under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code as well as obstruction (Section 51-A) of the Disaster Management Act.
Besides, more than 175 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders have been booked for staging a protest in Mohali on Saturday.
The move comes hours after chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh directed director general of police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta to register cases under the Disaster Management Act against opposition leaders and workers for violating Covid curbs by holding dharnas.
Among the AAP leaders, MLAs Amarjeet Singh Sandhoa, Jai Krishan Ruddy and deputy leader of opposition Saravjit Kaur Manuke have been booked.
Action plan for third wave
Chairing a virtual Covid review meeting on Monday, the CM announced a group of specialists in paediatrics to frame protocols and handhold private hospitals for enhancing beds and treatment protocols, while rolling out an action plan to deal with a possible third wave of Covid in the state.
The group will comprise specialists from GMCs, department of health, PGI and Indian Association of Paediatricians, Punjab chapter, said the CM, while directing the health and medical education departments to put into action a plan to deal with the next wave, if and when it comes.
The CM ordered creation of storage capacities for oxygen for a minimum of three days in all government medical colleges, with piped oxygen to be made available in all government hospitals. At least 375 MT of oxygen should be available with the state at any given time, he said, stressing the need to prepare for peak supply logistics.
Chief secretary Vini Mahajan said the state had received 500 oxygen concentrators against the World Bank loan for water surface supply projects, and another 2,500 would reach shortly.
Medical college faculty to get earned leave credit
Taking cognisance of the commitment of medical college faculty in their fight against Covid, the CM announced full credit of earned leave in lieu of their cancelled vacations.
The medical college faculty have not been able to avail their summer and winter vacation during the pandemic period, and would have been deprived of this facility, the CM said.
These faculty members need to be compensated, he said, adding that the government had decided to give them full credit against their 30 days of annual earned leave period against their cancelled vacation periods.