Shillong: Four legislators from the Opposition Congress in Meghalaya have written a joint letter to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma suggesting a slew of measures to check the rise in COVID-19 cases in the State.
Congress legislators Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh, Zenith M Sangma, George Lyngdoh and H.M.Shangpliang on Saturday shot the letter to Sangma voicing their grave concerns on the exponential growth in the COVID-19 cases across the State.
“One of the prime reasons for the uncontrolled spread of the infection is home isolation of maximum infected citizens who do not have proper accommodation in their homes. This concern was repeatedly raised in order to alert the government so that it can ensure proper isolation facilities across the State,” they informed the Chief Minister.
In the letter, the legislators said that due to sudden and severe strain on the healthcare system the frontline workers have not been able to even visit their families due to fear of infecting their near and dear ones.
“They (frontline workers) have not got proper rest nor do the hospitals have proper accommodation to ensure that their health is also taken care of,” the four Congress legislators pointed out.
Even though the Government has instructed the Districts to identify the Community Quarantine Centres, the legislators said there has been no communication as to how the identified Centres would be managed.
“We would like to suggest that every CHC & PHC should mandatorily identify such Centres. In urban areas, all the schools and open grounds (with temporary tents) can be utilized as community quarantine centres. Such Centres should also be provided with beds and mattresses, toiletries, medical and support staff especially essentials like food and medicines,” they noted.
They also urged the Chief Minister to expedite the instructions along with necessary resource support to ensure proper in order to immediately isolate the positive cases considering the extremely high infectious rate of the second wave.
“Till now, all hospitals are simultaneously providing medical aid for both Covid and non- Covid cases. Considering the rise in the infection, dedicated Covid hospitals should be declared by the State Government especially in Shillong agglomeration. This will reduce the strain on the health care system and dedicated medical experts can be deployed in such hospitals. Non Covid cases will also not be mixed with Covid related cases. For instance, if the TB Hospital in Umsawli is identified as a Covid Care hospital, dedicated doctors and medical staff, beds, ICUs, Ventilators can be arranged. This will ensure dedicated and concentrated efforts for Covid Care,” the legislators suggested.
Informing the Chief Minister that families are facing huge financial burden due to the lockdown and slowing down of the economic activity across the State, the Congress legislators suggested, “For Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) registered families that are tested positive for COVID-19 but not requiring hospitalization, the medical expenses are not covered under MHIS.”
“Even under home isolation or quarantine, being a pandemic, it is criminal if MHIS does not include all types of COVID-19- related expenses,” they said in reference to the Health Insurance Scheme.
The Congress legislators also suggested the government that additional and separate vaccination teams should be identified to handle the entire immunization process to reduce the workload on the frontline workers and also to reduce the probability of infections spreading amongst the people.
“The immunization teams should not be placed in the hospitals as they are facing tremendous workload. Therefore, dedicated vaccine/immunization centres may be created in few places especially in the urban areas, with makeshift arrangements where necessary,” they further suggested.
“The process of vaccination needs smoothening as the age-wise segregation from 18-44 and 45+ is creating confusion for the vaccination teams at the ground level, as well as for the people,” the legislators felt.