NAHARLAGUN, Apr 3: Health Minister Alo Libang on Friday tendered an apology, following the controversy that erupted after he had said on Thursday that Covid-19 patients from eastern Arunachal would be treated in Assam.
Speaking to the media here, Libang said his statement sent out the wrong message and he was seeking apology for hurting the sentiments of the people of the eastern part of the state.
“There should not be any misunderstanding. The health department is for the whole state. There is no eastern or western division. For us every Arunachalee is equal,” Libang said.
Clarifying his statement, he said: “We have divided the state into eastern and western zones for the convenience of the people, and also for speedy response to the Covid-19 threat.
“We are developing Bakin Pertin General Hospital (BPGH) in Pasighat as a state-level Covid-19 hospital.
Actually, what I meant to say was that until the hospital is ready, we have kept the option of taking the serious patients from the eastern region to Dibrugarh, if the need arose. However, our priority will always be to bring such patients first to TRIHMS, whether he or she may belong to any part of the state,” Libang said.
He said preparations are underway in full swing at BPGH.
“The ICU ward is getting ready and very soon ventilators will also arrive,” he said, adding that once BPGH is ready, it will cater to the needs of eastern Arunachal.
Libang also informed that the patient who has been found to be Covid-19 positive and is currently in isolation at the Tezu hospital is healthy and therefore there is no need to transfer him to TRIHMS or to Dibrugarh.
“He has only been found to be Covid-19 positive. Health-wise he is very much well and has shown no health issues so far. Sometimes people can be Covid-19 positive without any serious health issue. These kinds of patients will be treated in the district itself by following the standard operating procedure,” he said.
The minister urged the people not to panic and strictly follow the lockdown order and the advisories issued by the health department.
He also visited the Covid-19 response control room set up at the health services directorate here and interacted with the officials. Later, he visited the quarantine centres and interacted with the medical and police officials there.