Imphal: In an effort to ramp up the healthcare infrastructure amid the surge of COVID-19 positive cases in Manipur, chief minister N Biren Singh inaugurated a Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plant with a capacity of 100 litres per minute at the Thoubal district hospital on Monday.

This is the second such plant that has been made operational in less than a week in the state. A similar plant was also inaugurated in Churachandpur on Wednesday, the first such plant in hill districts.

Taking to his Facebook page, CM Biren Singh said “I’m happy to inaugurate the PSA Oxygen Plant at Thoubal which is capable of producing 22-24 D Type oxygen cylinders per day. This plant at Thoubal is the second PSA oxygen plant to be inaugurated after Churachandpur in the last one week.”

With this new plant in operation, we have been able to ramp up our oxygen production significantly. Similar plants are coming up in the hill districts as well, he added.

During his visit, the chief minister also inaugurated the 10-bedded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipped with ventilators and a 40-bedded COVID-19 ward at Thoubal District hospital.

According to CM Singh, each of the 40 bed will have a pipeline oxygen supply facility, which will now enable to accommodate serious patients of COVID-19 from Thoubal and its adjoining areas in the Thoubal District hospital with the same kind of facilities available in major hospitals in the state.

The chief minister also held a review meeting to assess the COVID-19 situation of Thoubal and Kakching districts at the DC office complex in Thoubal district.

After patiently listening to the observations made by the attendees, the chief minister stated that testing in the state had considerably increased in the past couple of days to ensure early detection and early treatment. As such, people should not panic about the possible jump in the number of positive cases. He urged the media to carry the number of tested samples and recovered patients while reporting.

Regarding casualties, Singh clarified that most of the deaths were due to co-morbidity. However, the government had been putting in all possible efforts to save every life, he reiterated. 

Stating that self-treatment at homes without giving necessary information to the authority or consulting doctors may prove fatal, the chief minister said. This was why the government had requested all concerned not to donate equipment like pulse oximeters, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators and ventilators to the patients directly.

Apart from adding ten more ICU beds with ventilators at Thoubal District Hospital, the government would also look into the requirement of more Anesthetists and Physicians, he said. He further stated that as Kakching is a new district, and it lacks medical infrastructure and manpower, the health authority of Thoubal District should cooperate with the authority of the former in tackling the pandemic. He also said that jurisdictional issues should never be a hindrance in giving timely treatment and saving people’s lives at this critical juncture.

Singh also directed the DCs and CMOs of the two districts to intensify vaccination. He also mentioned the need for the opening of a COVID-19 Care Centre in the Lilong area. He also directed the DCs to form district teams for the cremation of dead COVID-19 patients. All the charges should be borne by the district administration and it would be reimbursed by the State Government later, he added. The chief minister also suggested the district administration look for private agencies which can provide catering service at COVID-19 Care Centres with patients bearing their charges on their own.

Maintaining that it is not the time for negative propaganda, CM Biren Singh observed that unnecessary criticism and blame games should always be avoided. Instead, people should concentrate on a collective fight to defeat the pandemic, he added. With the dedicated efforts from MLAs, government officials and the general public, the state now has enough oxygen and other medical materials, he informed. 

Education Minister S Rajen, Agriculture Minister O Lukhoi, Advisor to CM (Health) Dr Sapam Rajan, MLAs M Rameshwar, Fazur Rahim, Y Antaz Khan, Th Radheshyam, Dr Radheshyam Yumnam, O Surjakumar, K Meghachandra, P Brojen, Principal Secretary (Health) V Vumlunmang, Secretary to CM N Geoffrey, DCs, SPs, CMOs, other Health Department officials and CSO representatives of the two districts attended the review meeting which lasted for around two hours and a half.

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