Frontline health workers ill-equipped : Hek

Correspondent Shillong, Apr 23 | Publish Date: 4/23/2020 10:05:21 AM IST
Even as Meghalaya has 11 active COVID-19 positive cases and one has succumbed to the deadly virus, the Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek on Thursday revealed that the State has much more to do to equipped its frontline health workers in their fight against the Novel Coronavirus. Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong however begged to differ with Hek’s revelation and said; “The government is ready (to face the challenge) and is trying to do the best that it can (to contain the disease).”
 “Most of our frontline workers in the Community Health Centres (CHC) and Primary Health Centres (PHC) across the State are not fully equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) kits,” Hek said.
“I have toured almost all districts to get firsthand information on the health department preparedness but I was awestruck to find out that there are not enough PPE kits and hand sanitisers in health centres,” the minister said, citing Sohra CHC have only 15 PPE kits.
After seeing that frontline health workers dangerously ill-equipped, Hek said he had issued an order to the Director of National Health Mission to make available 100 PPE kits and hand sanitizers to all CHCs and PHCs.  “Imagine, if there is an outbreak of Coronavirus in Sohra or any place, Can doctors and nurses protect themselves with mere number 15 PPEs kits. I have taken strong note of this and have directed health officers to immediately distribute a minimum of100 PPE kits each to CHC and PHCs,” the Health minister said, expressing surprise as to why “PPE kits are lying in godowns” in Shillong.
While rubbishing the Health and Family Welfare Minister’s claims, Tynsong informed that the state has received a total of 64,468 personal protection equipments (PPEs). “So far, 20,905 PPEs have been distributed to the district medical & health officers (DM&HOs) of the eleven districts in the state,” he said. Of these, 9,121 PPEs have been distributed in East Khasi Hills, 1,185 – West Khasi Hills, 725 – South West Khasi HIlls, 1,660 – Ri Bhoi, 1,212 – West Jaintia Hills, 762 – East Jaintia Hills, 600 – North Garo Hills, 900 – South Garo Hills, 1055 – South West Garo Hills, and 895 – East Garo Hills.
Tynsong also informed that 200 PPEs were also distributed to each of the private hospitals which include Supercare, H Gordon Robert hospital, Woodland hosptial, Nazareth hospital and Children’s hospital. 


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