Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday said that the state government will increase the number of oxygen supported beds to 1,000 within the next two weeks for effectively tackling the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state recorded 16 COVID-19 fatalities on Monday, taking the death toll to 336, while 34 new cases pushed the tally to 23,966. Meghalaya now has 4,915 active cases.

Addressing media persons, Sangma said that the administration has been able to raise the number of such beds from 350 to 750 during the past one month.

“We are hopeful to increase the number of oxygen supported beds to 1,000 in the next two weeks,” he said.

Sangma also said that the state has also doubled the number of oxygen cylinders to 1,500 from 700.

On the ongoing installation of oxygen generation plants in Meghalaya, he said that services are being upgraded in Shillong Civil Hospital, Ganesh Das Hospital and RP Chest TB Hospital in the state capital.

Installation of oxygen plants will soon be completed in hospitals at Tura, Jowai, Nongpoh, Sangma said.

“We are also scheduled to complete the oxygen plants at Nongstoin, Williamnagar, Baghmara and Ampati within two weeks,” he said.

Sangma further said that the government has also decided to set up corona care centres in different parts of Shillong.

“We are trying to increase the number of beds at the locality level to cater to cases which may not need hospital services. Roughly about 300 beds will be created,” he said.

As the number of active cases reached 4,915, the chief minister said, “We are prepared for this. But it is very important to realise that if the numbers keep growing, no matter how many hospital beds or oxygen cylinders we get, we will not be able to make it sufficient for everybody.”

He said the spread of the disease can be contained only if people follow the restrictive measures imposed by the government.

Also read: Meghalaya to continue COVID-19 testing aggressively, says Sangma

Meanwhile, a health department official said that 19 people died of coronavirus during the day and 14 of the fatalities were reported from East Khasi Hills district, of which the state capital Shillong is a part.

Altogether 237 patients also recovered from the infection taking the total number of cured people to 18,715.

The state has conducted 5.98 lakh tests till date, the official said.

Till Sunday, a total of four lakh people have been inoculated in the state and over 78,000 of them have received both doses of the vaccine, he said.

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