Go for COVID vaccine or forget quarantine leave: Punjab minister to health workers
Chandigarh, Feb 21: Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Sunday warned healthcare workers who do not get the COVID-19 vaccine shot of not allowing them quarantine leave if they get infected at a later stage.
He further said they will have to bear the cost of their treatment.
"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," said Sidhu in an official statement here.
He further pointed out that recent days have seen an uptick COVID-19 cases in Punjab.
With 358 infections reported on February 20, now there are about 3,000 active cases in the state as against only 2,000 three weeks ago, he said.
"There is a dire need that all healthcare workers should get themselves vaccinated to deal with any unprecedented situation," he said.
He said Punjab is among the six states of the country where COVID cases are rising "and we should prepare 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," he said.
Sidhu said the healthcare workers should shun hesitancy and come forward to get vaccinated at the earliest for the sake of their own safety and that of their near and dear ones.
Expressing concern over the low rate of vaccination among healthcare and frontline workers, Sidhu said so far 2.06 lakh healthcare workers and 1.82 lakh frontline workers have registered for COVID-19 vaccination.
He said about 79,000 healthcare (HCW) and 4,000 frontline workers (FLW) have been vaccinated, saying this coverage has not been up to the mark.
"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 said.
Sidhu stressed that no one should be misled by rumours and misinformation.
He informed that the last date of the availing the first dose of vaccination has been extended from February 19 to 25.