Health dept recommends ICR lockdown extension

ITANAGAR, 14 May: Health Minister Alo Libang said that his department has recommended extension of the containment (lockdown) in the Itanagar capital region (ICR). The ICR is in complete lockdown till 17 May.

Speaking to the press here on Friday during a visit to the dedicated Covid hospital (DCH) in the MLA apartments, Libang said that “lockdown is helping to stop the spread of virus and also giving opportunity to make preparations for the coming days.”

During the minister’s visit, officials of the DCH informed that the new oxygen plant will start functioning from Monday onwards.

“A new oxygen plant with a capacity to generate 500 litres per minute will start functioning at the DCH from Monday onwards. The DCH will have 206 beds, all with oxygen support, in the coming days,” said the health minister.

He also expressed concern over the continuing rise in the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths from it. “As the cases are surging, we are regularly evaluating the preparedness to check if there are lacunae and shortfalls, so that preparation is foolproof,” he said.

On the issue of availability of oxygen beds in the state, the minister said that, considering the overall population of the state, there should be at least 800 oxygen beds in the state.

“But right now oxygen beds are less in number and therefore we are targeting 800 beds in a few months. Based on the population of the districts, the oxygen beds will be provided accordingly,” added Libang.

Regarding the allegation that placement of 66 recently recruited doctors has not been processed by the health department, the minister claimed that posting orders to all the new 66 doctors have already been issued.

Meanwhile, alarmed by the surging Covid-19 positive cases and deaths, Chief Minister Pema Khandu is convening a meeting with the Arunachal Pradesh Disaster Management Authority (APDMA) on Saturday via videoconference to review the status of Covid-19 preparedness.

The council of ministers and APDMA members will be attending the meeting.