The Outer Manipur MP drew the attention of the CM to a May 10 press release by UNDP New Delhi, in which the Japanese government and UNDP India announced the installation of eight Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.
Manipur MP (Outer) Dr Lorho S Pfoze urged chief minister N Biren Singh to write to the Japanese Embassy and UNDP with a special appeal to provide “critical support to ensure uninterrupted flow of oxygen, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators in hospitals and health centres in the region, especially those in hard-to-reach areas”.
In a letter to CM Biren on May 12, 2021, MP Dr Lorho drew the chief minister’s attention to a press release by UNDP New Delhi, dated May 10, 2021, on which the Government of Japan and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India announced the installation of eight Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.
In the joint release, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of India, Satoshi Suzuki had said, “Japan stands with India, our friend and partner, in her efforts to fight against COVID-19 pandemic in this critical time. I am pleased that Japan is working with UNDP to provide vital oxygen generation plants for the people of India’s North East. India’s Northeast occupies a special place for Japan-India relations”.
In this connection, Dr Lorho said that he informally discussed with his Japanese friend that Manipur and Japan share special bonds and, in this context, “the ongoing pandemic overwhelming the health system across the country” and one key challenge has been the acute shortage of medical oxygen. Manipur is placed in no better situation than any other North Eastern Indian states; that rural Manipur, the under-served areas are deprived of many critical and life-saving facilities, Dr Lorho added.
“The situation in India is devastating and the pandemic continues to threaten millions of lives. UNDP urgently needs additional support to ensure that we reach the last mile to leave no one behind,” Dr Lorho said.
The letter further mentioned that after some research, his Japanese friend came back to Dr Lorho and suggested that “If the Government of Manipur would write to the Japanese Embassy, New Delhi and UNDP, New Delhi; they may explore and take the matter forward.”
Dr Lorho also expressed deep concern for the District Hospitals, Sub-District Hospital, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres especially in the far-flung and hill areas, where frontline health workers work, lives of the population they serve are but increasingly on the peril.
It may be mentioned that TFM had reported on how Manipur might have missed an opportunity to get help from the Government of Japan, including the much needed Oxygen plants and a dedicated COVID-19 hospital.
Dr Lorho had also written to Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, Subramanyam Jaishankar in August, 2020 on the matter.