Regional

‘COVID situation in M’laya alarming’

Correspondent SHILLONG, APRIL 20 | Publish Date: 4/20/2021 12:49:23 PM IST

 YOU MAY HAVE TO STAND IN LINE FOR CREMATION: DR AMAN WAR

Health officials in Meghalaya on Tuesday warned that unless people strictly follow COVID-19 protocols, they may have to queue before hospitals, burial grounds and crematoriums. 
 “Picture this, you will have to stand in line for burial, you will have to stand in line for cremation, we will have no space in hospitals nobody will come forward to help …so follow the instructions we have given strictly,” Director Health Services (MI), Dr. Aman War said at a joint press conference with several medical specialists.
Stating that the coronavirus situation in the State is “alarming”, the senior medical officer urged  people to follow the three Ws diligently - wear masks, wash hands, watch the distance - to arrest the number of COVID-19 cases and to contain this pandemic.   
“We should be fully prepared to contain this pandemic. We cannot depend on the government alone and the responsibility lies on you and me to prevent the spread of this infection,” War underscored.
He said the surge in COVID-19 infections in Meghalaya is mainly due to complacency and inadequate enforcement of safety protocol by the people.      
Sharing the COVID-19 statistics in the State, the senior medical official informed, till March 23, 2021 there were only 23 active cases in the State and by April 17 there were 680 cases.  In 2020, there was just one active case in April 13, and only by August 5, 2020 there were 669 active cases.
 “The number of cases within this short span of 25 days this year is equivalent to the number of cases reported in 114 days last year and this number is increasing,” War said.   
He reiterated that people need to be strict in following the laid health protocols and warned that the “worst is yet” to come.    
“This is the take home message,” War underscored.
Meanwhile, the senior medical officer said the State health services is fully prepared to meet all eventualities, the health officials informed that  the State has 32 invasive ventilators another 54 has 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,” 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.    
On the vaccination drive, War said, that one of the other protections in this fight against the pandemic is the vaccine and urged people to come forward and take it. He said the vaccine provides protection against the virus and urged people not to be apprehensive about it or fall prey to rumours surrounding the vaccine.  
Stating that he has taken his second doses of the vaccine and further cited that all the health officials present have taken the vaccine, Dr. War said that everyone is fine  and in good health with no side effects whatsoever.    
Meanwhile, health authorities informed that the State has 80,000 vaccines in the State which would last for the next 10 days. 
“We have asked for more vaccines from the central government which we would be getting soon,” health officials informed. 
However, the health officials emphasised on the fact that a vaccine was not a cure but only a preventive measure against the viral disease and underscored the need for maintaining all the safety protocols issued by the health department. 
 

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