Japan to provide 8 Oxygen plants for Northeast: Dr Jitendra



NEW DELHI: In a major breakthrough to elicit assistance and support for augmenting COVID management and control, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh on Tuesday disclosed that Japan and UNDP have partnered to provide eight Oxygen generation plants to ensure uninterrupted Oxygen supply at hospitals in the Northeast.
He further informed that the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) is pro-actively assisting all the eight North Eastern States to fight the second wave of COVID-19 effectively.
While chairing a review meeting with Chief Secretaries, Health Secretaries and Planning Secretaries of all the eight North Eastern States as well as Central Government officers on COVID preparedness, Dr Jitendra said that Japan and UNDP have partnered to provide eight oxygen generation plants to ensure uninterrupted Oxygen supply at hospitals in the North East. These plants will support more than 1300 hospital beds across the region.
The Minister also assured the States that they will get their fair share from foreign aid pouring in India and all attempts will be made to ensure that they will not be left behind in the fight against Corona.
Dr Jitendra that the fund of Rs 369 Crore disbursed last year for 14 Health and COVID related projects had helped significantly to ramp up health infrastructure including purchase of new equipment and now all the States are better prepared to fight the pandemic.
Taking note of the fact that each of the States getting affected by the pandemic more severely than during the first wave, the Minister asked all the States to send health related proposals at the earliest and promised to process them on priority basis in the Ministry.
He also instructed the senior officials of DoNER Ministry to coordinate with Health, Railways and other relevant Ministries at the Centre to fulfill the demands of North Eastern States.
Dr Jitendra said that almost all the States have flagged off issues like shortage of oxygen, vaccines and essential drugs like Remdesivir and assured them that he will personally take up these matters with the Union Health Minister.
The Minister at the same time appealed to the people not to hoard oxygen and essential drugs as precaution not panic is the main mantra to fight the COVID.
He also underlined the need for Community Management of the pandemic by roping in youth, civil society, religious heads and Women Self Help Groups to create awareness among the common man.
Dr Singh expressed satisfaction that MDoNER funds were utilised judiciously to augment health related infrastructure like District Hospitals, testing facilities, Mobile testing labs, vital equipment and setting up of Oxygen plants across the region.
He also instructed NEC to gear up as a local resource agency by coordinating with all the States by setting up a Monitoring Cell to keep a daily tab on the pandemic related issues.
In addition, the DoNER Minister also recalled that last year in the early days of Lockdown-1, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) had stepped in preemptively and placed an amount of Rs.25 Cr at the disposal of North Eastern States for preparatory steps to tackle the pandemic.