With the spike in COVID -19 cases, Meghalaya has geared up to tackle the pandemic by providing sufficient oxygen and ventilators to the patients of the state.
Dr. Aman War, Director of Health Services (MI) said that the State has 32 invasive ventilators and another 54 have been provided by the Central government and there are 75 non-invasive ventilators.
"We have no shortage of oxygen in the State as of now, we have 609 Oxygen support beds, 65 ICU beds," Dr. War said, adding that the State has its oxygen plant at Byrnihat in Ri-Bhoi district and there are also private firms from Assam supplying oxygen to the State.
Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said, "We have to increase Oxygen supply, we have to increase the number of ICU beds…that is being taken care of…as we had anticipated by the end of this month that the COVID 19 cases will increase drastically, we have taken those issues into consideration."
The State government has asked the Health Department to work out the modalities of having a designated COVID hospital in the state, ever since the second wave of COVID -19 hit the state.
"We have already instructed the health department to develop necessary infrastructure-- be it the hospital, be it ICU, be it oxygen," Tynsong added.
Director of Health Services (MI) Dr. War said that the district hospitals have a COVID-19 wing, although, the state government has decided to have a designated COVID hospital in view of the surge in infection.
Health authorities have also urged eligible citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Dr. War said that the situation is alarming in the state. The state has witnessed a sudden surge in the COVID-19 cases.
According to health officials, the state has over 80,000 doses of vaccines and is waiting to soon get another batch of vaccines"This is a pandemic and the virus is very much exists. Nobody has ever declared that the pandemic is over," he said.
"If we go by the protective measures, I am sure that we can contain the situation," Dr. War said.
Asserting the need for people to understand the importance of getting vaccinated, he said, "The vaccine is going to protect us and prevent the spread of COVID-19."
A doctor said the vaccine is not a cure and that is why even after being vaccinated there have been cases of COVID-19 positive.
"What the vaccine will do is reduce the severity of the disease if in case someone is contracted by the virus. So even after being fully vaccinated you still need to follow precautions," he said.
According to health officials, the state has over 80,000 doses of vaccines and is waiting to soon get another batch of vaccines.
Dr. Meban Kharkongor, a specialist at Dr. H Gordon Roberts Hospital, warned that the worst is yet to come.
"The worst is yet to come. Unless we become very strict with how we conduct ourselves with other people, things will go out of our hand," he said.
The health officials also admitted that there was a high percentage of positive cases among the returnees from outside the state.
They also informed that the state is also waiting for the report on genome sequencing.