Shillong, June 22: With a possible third wave of COVID around the corner, Meghalaya government today solved the oxygen crisis problem in the state by inaugurating three oxygen manufacturing plants.
The three plants were built at the district headquarters of West Garo Hills, West Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts. The Tura plant was inaugurated by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
These plants have been installed at the Tura Civil Hospital, the Nongpoh Civil Hospital and at the Jowai Maternity and Child Hospital. The Nongpoh plant was inaugurated by Health Minister AL Hek and the Jowai plant was inaugurated by local MLA, Wailadmiki Shylla.
The construction of these plants was made possible through funds made available by the Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP.). Sangma thanked Japanese government and the UNDP for supporting the projects.
"The Indian government has always shown a desire to work with Japan and at this difficult time, we are finding innovative ways to help each other. The healthcare scenario in India is very challenging due to COVID-19 but with mutual effort, we can face the situation strongly," Sangma said.
During the inauguration of the plant at Tura, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to India, Satoshi Suzuki attended the inauguration virtually. Manish Pant, Head Health and Governance represented on behalf of UNDP while Karan Bhatia, CEO, Uttam Group, which constructed the plants were also present.
According to officials the Tura plant would have a production capacity of 1.1 ton of oxygen per day.The plants at Nongpoh and Jowai would have similar production capacity.
These plants have been installed at a time when the country and also the state was struggling to get adequate oxygen supplies for the hospitals when the pandemic was at its peak. The state government had to hurriedly procure oxygen sourced from across the country.
However, at no point of time the state faced any shortage of oxygen in the hospitals. Now with these plants, the major hospitals in some of the most populated districts would be self-reliant on oxygen if a third wave hits the State.