00 Punto Dead battery - connected with power steering failure ?

Hi. My girlfriends 2000 Punto S had a red-flashing steering-wheel button appearing on and off for the last number of weeks. In the manual this indicated a power-steering failure. There was no noticeable difference in
the steering, just the red light on the dash.
Now the battery is dead. I can get the car started on a push, but the power-steering is totally gone. It's like driving a tank !
I know the PS on a Punto is electrical, so could these be connected ?
Also, it seems due to the PS being electrical, there is no PS fluid required (probably because this is only needed in a hydraulic system). Can someone confirm this ?
Thanks !
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