Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has inaugurated four oxygen-generating plants, which were set up with money from PM Cares Fund, taking the total number of such units operating in the state to 24, a statement issued here said on Saturday.

The plants have been installed in state-run hospitals and medical colleges in the districts of Anjaw, Lower Dibang Valley, Kamle, and Naharlagun, the statement by the chief minister’s office said.

Khandu, after virtually inaugurating the Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants on Friday, said that it was a gift to the people of the state from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of his 71st birthday.

“With these newly installed units, we now have 24 functional PSA plants in various hospitals,” he noted.

The CM further said that his government plans to make 20 more proposed PSA plants operational in the state by October end, thus ensuring 12,650 LPM of oxygen is generated in the state every day.

“The importance of having an adequate number of oxygen plants became evident when the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Fortunately, I was warned by experts in advance and managed to set up 100 oxygen-equipped beds before the second wave hit our state.

“As of today, we have more than 1000 oxygen-equipped beds. We will ensure that no patient loses his or her life due to lack of oxygen,” the chief minister underlined.

He gave assurance that the state was slowly emerging out of the second wave’s grip.

“Unfortunately, we lost more lives during the second wave when compared to the first. Our health workers, however, kept the crisis in check. Because of them, the situation in our state was under control, he said.

Khandu also stated that the “vigorous” vaccination drive in Arunachal Pradesh helped curb fatalities.

As many as 271 people in the northeastern state have died of the disease thus far.

The CM, however, maintained that the battle against COVID-19 was far from over and asked people to abide by the safety protocols issued in the wake of the pandemic.

“We have learnt our lessons. Now we will have to focus on improving health infrastructure across the state. I have asked the legislators to hold consultations with district officials and identify one hospital each in their respective constituencies which could be upgraded further,” he added.

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