Itanagar: Announcing the state government’s preparedness for a possible third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday inaugurated two oxygen plants – one with 600 LPM capacity at TRIHMS and the other with 500 LPM capacity at the Dedicated Covid Hospital (DCH) in Chimpu here.

Speaking at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS), Khandu on behalf of the people of the state expressed gratitude to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for donating the plants.

The third plant of 300 LPM capacity, also donated by UNDP, he said, is under installation at the Bakin Pertin General Hospital in Pasighat and will be functional soon.

Khandu informed that another 1000 LPM oxygen generator will be installed at TRIHMS soon by the DRDO.

“To meet any measure of demand, Oxygen support has been provided to all district hospitals, dedicated covid hospitals and dedicated covid health centres. This is also being extended to community health centres (CHC) and select primary health centres and as standby to some Covid Care Centres (CCCs) to achieve our target of making available 1000 oxygen-beds by July end. From 164 oxygen-beds as on May 2, we today have 815 beds,” he said.

Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu inaugurating the oxygen plant at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) in Itanagar
The new oxygen plant at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) in Itanagar

As on date, nine PSA oxygen generation plants are operational – one each of 100 LPM capacity at Aalo, Seppa, Tezu, Tawang, Yingkiong and Ziro. Further, 5 UNICEF supported PSA plants are in advanced stages of being commissioned and are expected to be operational before July 15.

Khandu said that the state government’s focus to develop health infrastructure to deal with the pandemic resulted in establishment of 63 Covid Care Centres; 35 Dedicated Covid Health Centres; 2 Dedicated Covid Hospitals at Chimpu and Pasighat with 33 ICU beds to medically manage and provide treatment for all categories of patients.

“From no labs capable of testing for SARS-CoV-2, we now have 2 Rt-PCR labs, one each at BPGH, Pasighat and TRIHMS, and True-Nat Labs in all districts. And for mild home isolation cases we are providing medical kits and regularly being monitored by 73 Rapid Response Teams constituted for the purpose,” he informed.

Lauding the healthcare workers, Khandu credited them for the state’s daily COVID test average stands at 3,286 per million of population, as against the WHO recommended daily test per million population of 140.

He said an average of 5,700 daily tests is being conducted currently.

“In the last two weeks from June 10 onwards, we have witnessed a 13 % decrease in overall weekly new COVID-19 cases and in the preceding one week, around 300 Covid-19 cases have recovered daily from the disease, at an average, bringing our recovery rate to 91.6%,” he informed.

In the wake of a third-wave threat, he informed that the state government has constituted a “Core Group of Experts on Covid-19 Surveillance & Containment” for assessment, preparedness and management measures related to possible subsequent surges of Covid-19. He said paediatricians will be extensively consulted and included in the process as it is speculated that the third-wave may infect people below 18 years.

Also read: COVID-19: Officials brave hilly terrain, vaccine hesitancy to inoculate remote India

Khandu further informed that 60 CHCs in each assembly constituency, identified in consultation with local MLAs, will be equipped with Indian Public Health Standards basic medical equipment of different types.

Interacting with healthcare workers and doctors at DCH Chimpu, the chief minister revealed that he plans to convert the entire MLA Apartments complex into a permanent specialist hospital for the welfare of the people. He said he will pursue the proposal with the legislative assembly speaker, deputy speaker and all his legislator colleagues.

“In spite of many unique constraints and development challenges related to terrain, climate, remote and difficult to access habitations, frequent disruptions in air, road, power, tele-communications links; unknown to rest of the country, save few other areas, if at all; our state has fared well so far. Our compliments to the health department, PRI and municipal members, healthcare workers at all levels, police, district administrations, youth associations, community-based organizations, NGOs, social and religious leaders, and above all, people of Arunachal Pradesh,” Khandu added.

Among others, deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, health minister Alo Libang, legislators Techi Kaso and Goruk Pordung, Itanagar Mayor Tame Phassang and officials of the state health department accompanied the chief minister on the day.

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