Ludhiana, August 01, 2020: The Punjab Government will soon introduce urine test every six months for dispensing de-addiction drugs to check abuse. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh disclosed this during his #AskCaptain Facebook Live session on Saturday in response to a question.
A Ludhiana youth Mr Sarb Shergill had requested the Chief Minister to direct OOAT clinics to give 10 days of medicine at a time, as per the past practice, as otherwise a lot of time was wasted every day in long queues to get the daily dose of medication. Due to this daily waiting time, he was getting late for work every day, the youth said.
In response, the Chief Minister said his government would soon introduce urine test every six months to ensure that there is no diversion of the medicine. While the government has already allowed 7-day take-home for the de-addiction medicines, bulk quantities could not be handed over as this has the potential for abuse and can be counterproductive, he added.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of patient visits and medicine distribution at the OOAT centres per day over the past 3 months in view of the Covid restrictions, which have affected availability of drugs for addicts. The number of patients coming for treatment rose 3 time from July 2018 to June 20. A total of 1,03,553 patients came for medicine in the month of July 2019 whereas this number jumped to 3,26,301 till June 20 in just one year.
In response to a request from a Ludhiana resident Mr Khet Singh for daily updates on bed availability to be posted on Cova App, the Chief Minister said he would direct the Health Department to arrange for the same. He assured that there was no shortage of beds, with adequate arrangements already in place for anticipated spike in cases.
On the issue of fake NGOs in the state, the Chief Minister said many had done good work in the Covid crisis but if there were any fake ones, the complainant should submit a list to enable the government to take strict action.