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‘Fateh’ kits in short supply as cases peak in Punjab

The plan of the state government to provide Corona Fateh Kits to all Covid patients in isolation has taken a hit following the recent peak in the cases.

Launched on September 22, 2020, the Corona Fateh Kits were aimed at ensuring ‘regular self-monitoring of health indicators of all Covid patients in isolation to enable early identification of critical parameters to save lives’. However, the Health Department is finding it difficult to meet the demands regarding the kits given the recent spike in cases.

Patients said while they were flooded with calls from the department, the actual kits did not come for weeks. Also, some Covid-positive patients under isolation are being asked to collect the kits themselves.

The kit has 18 items, including a pulse oxymeter, digital thermometer and essential medicines. A Jalandhar based government employee said, “My mother and son have tested positive. When we sought the kits, we were directed to the local dispensary at Mithapur. They asked us to contact the 104 helpline. We repeatedly sought the kit but no one gave it to us. Another doctor called us and made me write a few numbers. It’s been four days since the 104 team noted our address. So far, no kit has been given to us.”

Another Covid patient said, “What’s the use of home quarantine if I have to go and take the kit myself? All five people in my family have tested positive but the call from the Health Department asked me to pick up the kit from a Basti Nau dispensary.”

District Immunisation Officer Dr Rakesh Chopra said, “There has been a sudden spike this year. It was more gradual and slow last year. The cases are rising rapidly so the demand has risen. At times, there is shortage. Our vehicles get kits from Amritsar, Bathinda or Chandigarh, whichever warehouse has them. We are not asking positive patients to collect them but if there has been an oversight, we will look into it.”

Ready to distribute 4,000-6,000 kits daily

Some districts with sudden spurt might have had a temporary shortage, but we will start distributing 4,000 to 6,000 kits on a daily basis from tomorrow. With 70% cases in home isolation, there is a need for 2,000 kits every day. — Hussan Lal, Principal Health Secretary

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