The Punjab government will cap the hospitalisation and treatment charges for coronavirus patients in private hospitals and those not adhering to it will be shut down, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Saturday.
The fee structure for private hospitals and clinics is expected to be finalised by Monday, he said during his 'AskCaptain' session on Facebook.
Taking a strict view of complaints of exorbitant fee being charged by private hospitals, Singh termed such actions as "anti-people and anti-national".
"If these hospitals do not agree to the government rates, we will close them down," he added.
Expressing concern over the spike in coronavirus cases in the state, which he attributed to the large number of people coming from other places, the CM said he had sought permission from the Centre to allow the state to make COVID test certificates mandatory for all those crossing the border.
Singh said he had raised the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a video conference.
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, an official release quoting the CM said.
He said that he had requested the prime minister to allow entry of only those with valid COVID-free certificates.
In fact, those leaving Punjab should also carry similar certificates to check the spread of coronavirus into other states, he said.
With easing of restrictions and more testing, the numbers would continue to spike, Singh said, adding that timely intervention and adherence to protocols was imperative to save lives.
Elaborating on the state's medical preparedness, Singh said 551 ventilators were already available with government and private hospitals and another 93 had been ordered.
The state government had also ordered four 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 2,200 oxygen cylinders. 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 stage, the state plans to add 10,000 more beds, to be followed by another 30,000 in the third stage, he added.
On a question regarding some industrialists wanting to bring back labourers to the state at their own expense, the CM said they were most welcome to do so but would need to ensure strict home quarantine for 14 days.
On the issue of Sikhs in Uttar Pradesh being relocated, Singh said he had spoken to his counterpart Yogi Adityanath and was hopeful that the latter would stop the move.
"If that does not happen, I will take up the matter with the prime minister, he added.