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Nagaland to set up oxygen plants in all district hospitals

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Apr 20, 2021 1:07 am
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Dr. Kevichusa Medikhru. (EM images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, April 19 (EMN):
In a move that will help the state fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the government of Nagaland is in the process of setting up oxygen generation plants in all the 11 district hospitals (DHs) and they are expected to be completed by the end of May.

Eastern Mirror spoke to Principal Director of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Kevichusa Medikhru, to check state’s preparedness as oxygen shortage has been reported in several states as hospitals are said to be overwhelmed by the rising number of Covid patients.

There is increasing demand for medical oxygen in India in the wake of steep surge in new infections, as it a critical component in treating Covid patients.

Dr. Medikhru told this newspaper that setting up of oxygen plants in the state was delayed due to fund constraints, as ‘sites have to be maintained’.

However, he informed that works are now in progress and various agencies will provide the equipment, which are all ready to be sent, upon completion of site preparations for installations.

While admitting that there is not a single oxygen generation plant in the state till date, the principal director informed that the state will soon get 11 of them, for which equipment for three will be supplied by the Government of India; United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – six; and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – two.

Medikhru exuded confidence that upon installation and completion of the oxygen generation plants, the district hospitals will have sufficient oxygen supply, which is crucial for treatment of many illnesses, besides Covid-19.

No oxygen shortage

The existing facilities like cylinders, jumbo cylinders and normal cylinders will be used at Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Primary Health Centres (PHCs), he added.

“Right now, we have sufficient oxygen as we don’t have huge number of people depending on oxygen,” he replied when asked about its availability in the state while several states in the country are said to be facing oxygen shortage in the wake of Covid-19 second wave.

Preparing ground works again for second wave

With the second wave of Covid-19 hitting the country hard, the principal director said the Health department is on the job preparing the ground works again for Covid care centres and critical care centres.

The employees are being pushed to conduct contact tracing, increase testing etc., he said, adding that the government is taking precautionary measures for travellers coming from states with high Covid cases.

He maintained that ‘Dimapur has become an entry hub that is too vast as people can come by flight, train, bicycle, bus, rickshaw or even by on foot owing to the proximity of border with other states and commercial city’.

In this regard, he asserted that the government has urged the district task force (DTF) of Dimapur to come up with a separate protocol for the district to control the spread of the pandemic besides screening at entry points.

Meanwhile, Medikhru explained that the new strain seen in the second wave has more symptoms than the previous one, and more children are getting infected. He urged the citizens of the state to take precautions and follow all standard operating procedures issued by the government.

24 new ambulances soon

The principal director also informed that the state will soon receive 24 ambulances soon; which will be provided by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) through Corporate Social responsibility (CSR). He added the high-end ambulances with basic life support equipment will be flagged off soon.

He added that the department will impart ‘operating procedure’ to those who are going to operate the high-end ambulances.

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Apr 20, 2021 1:07:40 am