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Govt empowers DCs, CMOs to appoint locally-available doctors, nurses in hill districts facing staff crunch

CM N Biren Singh during a review meeting on covid situation in Ukhrul and Kamjong districts

As the requirement between hill districts and valley is very different, we have taken this step and must work out accordingly, said the chief minister.

TFM Ukhrul Correspondent

“Early detection and early medication” is the new slogan of our government stated chief minister  N Biren Singh during a review meeting on covid situation in Ukhrul and Kamjong districts held at the premises of Mini Secretariat Complex in Ukhrul on Monday.

“We are here to say we are with you during this pandemic time. COVID-19 is our unseen enemy and has taken so many precious lives. I am very sad to say that nine precious lives from the Tangkhul community have lost and extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” said the CM.

He appealed to the people to report to the nearest hospital, CHC and PHC for immediate information and tests in case of any symptoms. “If the test result is positive, one has to be isolated for 14 days with proper medication. Most unfortunate part happening in the state is that most people do not report in the early stage, they report only at a critical stage when the patients have breathing problems, he said. The CM appealed to the Tangkhul CSOs to spread the message to overcome the disease.

Biren also informed that the 75 bedded COVID Hospital at TK Woodland at Shirui will be inaugurated on May 29, 2021. The COVID Hospital is the brainchild of MLA of 44-Ukhrul Assembly Constituency, Alfred Kanngam Arthur and we have also provided 15 oxygen concentrator machine, if require we will provide necessary manpower, infrastructure and necessary equipment for setting up this COVID Hospital for the people of  Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts.

He also informed that the government has procured thousands of oxygen cylinders for the people of Manipur and is establishing a 1,000 Litres capacity per day Oxygen plant at JNIMS and plans to launch within this week. He also informed that one oxygen plant will be established in all the hill districts having the capacity to refill 200 D-type of oxygen cylinders per day. The roadmap is already there to provide three ambulances each to all the districts.

In one of the key decisions of Monday’s meeting, the chief minister empowered the deputy commissioner and chief medical officer of hill districts to appoint locally available doctors and nurses if there is shortage of manpowers according to the rate fixed by the government.

He said, “We are on war footing and there is no room for following the paperwork, notice or appointment, etc especially in hill districts. As the requirement between hill districts and valley is very different, we have taken this step and must work out accordingly.”

Biren also instructed the medical department to visit those in home isolation and check whether SOP is being maintained in their homes and take them to COVID Care Centre if SOP cannot be maintained so as to eradicate the virus at the earliest.

According to a report presented by the CMO Ukhrul during the review meeting, Ukhrul district has a population of 1,32,908 out of which a total of 10,656 has been vaccinated till date.

Out of 7,769 first dose and 2,887 second dose (total 10,656 dose), 1,934 are health workers, 5,029 are frontliners, 402 between the age of 18-44, 1,803 between the age of 45- 59 and 1,488 for 60 years and above.

Ukhrul has only two ambulances, one for non-COVID and one for dedicated COVID-19 positive evacuation and referral. When COVID-19 positive patient is referred to hospital in Imphal, the department has to wait for a long time to evacuate another patient.

Due to increase in COVID-19 cases, the existing oxygen cylinders get emptied within a day or two so for maintaining uninterrupted oxygen supply, the District Hospital needs 20 more additional D-type cylinders. At present, Ukhrul District Hospital has 28 cylinders of D-type and 20 cylinders of B-type. The District Hospital has six ventilators and 16 oxygen concentrator machines, the report said.

the 120 capacity COVID Care Centre at Phungreitang, Ukhrul is presently occupied by 57 patients. Cumulative numbers of patients admitted stands at 207 and 111 patients have been discharged till date, it added.

With a cumulative 49 cases, three deaths and 120km from Ukhrul Headquarters, the Jessami PHC needs one ambulance, one driver, two nurses and one Grade-IV staff urgently, stated an application submitted to CM N Biren Singh by CMO Ukhrul.

There is only one ambulance for the whole District of Kamjong. Kamjong had reported 58 positive cases and at present there are 35 active cases.

“Out of 36 sanction posts, there are only eight doctors available at Kamjong CHC. Upgradation of manpower is the need of the hour” stated deputy commissioner of Kamjong, Worshang Hungyo in the review meeting. 

President of Tangkhul Naga Long, Hopingson A Shimray stated that “setting up of COVID Hospital at Ukhrul Headquarters both for Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts is the need of the hour. Due to non availability of seats at hospitals in Imphal, this is the only way to treat the patients and fight the virus in the two districts”.

Tangkhul community organisation has also raised the issue of the incomplete construction of 50 bedded District Hospital, Ukhrul. The construction has taken so long and has created inconvenience to the department while dealing with COVID-19 pandemic due to lack of space.

The CM was accompanied by chairman of HAC, Leisgiyo Keishing, advisor to CM (Health), Dr. Ranjan Sapam, MLA 44-Ukhrul, Alfred Kanngam Arthur, MLA 45-Chingai, Khashim Vashum, principal secretary (Health), V. Vumlunmang. The review meeting was also attended by DC Ukhrul, Joseph Pauline Kamsom, DC Kamjong, Worshang Hungyo, SP Ukhrul, Ajit Kumar, additional district magistrate, Kachamtai F Gangmei, SDO Kasom Khullen, Jain Huileng, SDO Ukhrul, Christianhome Huileng and various heads of department from Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts.

The chief minister and his team left for Senapati for a review meeting on COVID-19. The team will also visit Tamenglong for the same purpose. CM and his team visited the COVID Care Centre located at Phungreitang, Ukhrul and encouraged the frontline workers and wished speedy recovery to the inmates.

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