Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Saturday inaugurated a COVID-19 care centre at Canchipur in Imphal West district. The centre, which has around 60 beds, is the first in the state to earmark half of its capacity for children below the age of 15.

The centre is equipped with oxygen concentrators for treating COVID-19 positive patients and will be manned by 15 doctors, 21 nurses and other staff.

Taking to his Facebook page, the chief minister said, “During my virtual interaction with parents of child COVID-19 patients, a dedicated facility for children has been a key demand. As promised, I am happy to deliver it to them today.”

While addressing the gathering, the chief minister thanked the owner of the Iland Hospital for letting the government use the hospital premise as COVID-19 care centre without any consideration in return. He stated that at the beginning of the second wave of the pandemic, the state had faced shortages of certain facilities like oxygen supply, ventilators and ICU beds, among others. However, with the prompt action taken up by all concerned officials round the clock, Manipur now had adequate facilities for treatment of COVID-19 positive patients and to curb its spread.

CM Biren Singh further informed that the state had now acquired adequate stock of oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators and added that the number of ICU beds had also been considerably increased from merely around 40 earlier to 200 now. He further stated that 70 new ICU beds with ventilators had been set up in JNIMS Hospital and would be ready in a couple of days. Another 30 ICU beds would be added soon to make it 100, he added. He also assured that the state government is in the process of increasing the number of ICU beds to 10 in every district.

Singh further stated that a Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) cryogenic storage tank of 20 KL would also be installed at Porompat within this month, and with this, the state would not face any oxygen shortage. He advised the people to not panic about the pandemic as it can be cured within 14 days by medication if detected early. He appealed to the people to be careful and disciplined by adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs).

On the occasion of World Environment Day, Singh also planted a tree sapling at the Iland Hospital campus while appealing to everyone in Manipur to plant at least one tree on this day and stand against large-scale deforestation.

Deputy Chairman, State Planning Board L Rameshwor, Advisor to CM (health) Dr Sapam Ranjan, Principal Secretary V Vumlunmang, Secretary to CM N Geoffrey, Secretary Government of Manipur Chiphang Arthur Worchuiyo and other officials attended the programme, among others.

Later, the chief ministerial team also headed to Manipur University and took stock of the arrangement being made for setting up the COVID-19 care centre at the newly constructed Men’s Hostel of the University. The centre will have a capacity of 150 beds each in two hostel blocks.

Singh also planted a tree sapling at the campus of the University after the inspection of the centre.

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