Imphal: Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has announced that COVID-19 vaccination of people belonging to the age group of 18 to 44 years would commence from May 17.
In a video message to the people of the State, the Chief Minister informed that the State had received 39,000 doses so far for the vaccination of this age group. He urged all those belonging to the age group to register themselves on www.cowin.gov.in or Arogya Setu App or UMANG App to receive vaccination schedules on their phone.
N. Biren Singh also urged all those who have oxygen cylinders at home to donate them to the Government considering the ever-increasing demand for medical oxygen in the hospitals for COVID-19 treatment. He said that all these cylinders would be returned to the owners after the pandemic is over. The Chief Minister also asked the public not to panic as the Government is putting in all possible efforts and making all necessary arrangements to effectively tackle the pandemic.
The Chief Minister further announced that doctors, nurses and all other personnel, who are directly involved in COVID-19 treatment/duty would be given incentives of Rs. 500, Rs. 400 and Rs. 150 per day respectively. The Chief Minister also said that drivers and handymen, who are transporting oxygen cylinders from other States, would also be given Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 per trip respectively.
Although, generation of medical oxygen in the State had tremendously increased in the past few weeks with committed efforts from the State Government, the Chief Minister said, more oxygen is also being brought in from Nagaon, Silchar and Dimapur round the clock. He further informed that the current daily oxygen requirement of the State had increased to 1200 D-Type cylinders and 450 B-Type cylinders.
As such, the Government is trying to explore all possible means to ensure no dearth in oxygen supply, he said and added that oxygen generating units of different capacities would be set up in all the districts at the earliest. In addition to the 50 oxygen concentrators which the State had received a few days back, around 1000 more concentrators would arrive in a couple of days. Stating that RIMS, JNIMS and Shija Hospitals have their own oxygen generating units, Shri N. Biren Singh said that the newly installed units of Churachandpur and Thoubal District Hospitals are also likely to start functioning by May 17.
Regarding manpower, the Chief Minister said that 230 doctors and 178 new nurses had been engaged on contract basis to meet the manpower requirement. He further said that more ambulances would also be provided to some hill districts soon.
Meanwhile, Biren said the State Technical Expert Committee had approved use of Ivermectin tablets by COVID-19 positive patients. The medicine was prescribed by doctors during COVID first wave as well. Now, Ivermectin tablets along with Vitamin C, Zinc, D3 tablets and pulse oximeters would be distributed free of cost to Home Isolation patients, he added.
Observing that there is a joint effort to overcome the pandemic, he urged the public to fight it with confidence and stop panicking. SOPs adherence, timely prevention, and early treatment are the only means to effectively tackle the virus, he said.