Silchar, May 29: Minister for Environment and Forest, Fisheries and Excise, Parimal Suklabaidya reviewed the COVID-19 situation and took note of the steps initiated by the Karimganj district administration to contain the pandemic.
During the review meeting with Deputy Commissioner, MP, MLAs, representatives of political parties and officials of concerned departments at DC's conference hall here on Saturday, Minister Suklabaidya who is also the guardian minister of the district said the foremost priority is to contain the COVID pandemic in the district and also to reach out to the affected people in home isolation and COVID Care Centres in the best manner possible.
Suklabaidya instructed the Deputy Commissioner Khageswar Pegu to step up vaccination drives and to open more vaccination centres depending upon the availability of vaccines in the district. "More vaccination will automatically lead to containment of the disease", he quipped. The district presently has 23 vaccination centres.
He underscored the need to set up COVID Care Centres within the tea garden areas and to open up more vaccination centres to contain the pandemic. Deputy Commissioner, Pegu apprised the Minister that instructions have been already given to the tea garden management to set up COVID Care Centre with 10-15 bed capacity and at least two oxygen support beds in garden hospitals for the plantation workers afflicted with the disease. Pegu disclosed that out of 18 tea gardens, six gardens are yet to make COVID Care Centres functional.
Taking stock of availability of oxygen in the district, the Minister directed the Deputy Commissioner to exert pressure on the contractor and the officials of PWD Building to expedite the civil work and for installation of machines to make it fully operational. In this context, Deputy Commissioner Pegu informed the Minister that the civil work would be completed within two-three days and installation work of machines, for which technicians have arrived from Mumbai, in the next 25 days. Suklabaidya urged the MLAs to create awareness in their respective constituencies on the government SoPs to help curb the disease.
Further, the Deputy Commissioner requested the Minister to take up the matter with Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Keshab Mahanta for sanctioning of funds for setting up of an oxygen plant in the district. Suklabaidya also asked the Deputy Commissioner to ensure ration provided by the government for May and June to the BPL families in home isolation. He also instructed the Deputy Commissioner to work out modalities in consultation with line departments for providing ration to non-NFSA beneficiaries out of the 10% awarded by the Finance Commission for COVID expenditure.
Suklabaidya urged the officials of concerned departments to work in tandem to make Karimganj district and the state as a whole COVID-free. Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner while giving an overview of the COVID pandemic situation through powerpoint presentation said more positive cases have been detected in Badarpur area and the administration has decided to set up micro containment zones to arrest the spread of the disease. He revealed that the district has registered 31 COVID deaths with an overall positivity rate of 3%.
Pegu informed the Minister that the positivity rate has gone up from 3% to 5.3% in the past 10 days with the death toll on the rise in the past couple of days. He said the focus of the administration is on stepping up vaccination in tea gardens and in urban areas. The review meeting was attended by MP, Kripanath Mallah, MLAs Abdul Aziz, Kamalakhya Dev Purkayastha, Bijoy Malabar and Krishnendu Paul, Chairman, AIDC, Mission Rajan Das, SP, Mayank Kumar, DDC, ADCs, COs, President and CEO, Zilla Parishad and officials of Health and other line departments.
Concluding the meeting, a one-minute silence was observed for eternal peace of deceased MLAs, Majendra Narzary and Leho Ram Boro who passed away due to COVID-19 complications and all those who succumbed to the disease.