New Delhi, May 11: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have partnered to provide eight oxygen-generation plants to ensure an uninterrupted supply of the life-saving gas at hospitals in the Northeast.
These plants will support over 1,300 hospital beds across the region, he said.
Singh, the Minister of State for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said all the eight northeastern states are pro-actively assisted by the Centre to fight the second wave of COVID-19 effectively.
Chairing a review meeting with the chief secretaries, health secretaries, planning secretaries of the northeastern states and central government officers on COVID preparedness, he informed that Japan and the UNDP have partnered to provide eight oxygen-generation plants to ensure an uninterrupted supply of the life-saving gas at hospitals in the northeast, according to an official statement.
Singh also assured the states that they will get their fair share from the foreign aid India is receiving and that all attempts will be made to ensure that they are not left behind in the fight against the coronavirus.
He said the fund of Rs 369 crore disbursed last year for 14 health and COVID-related projects had significantly helped to ramp up the health infrastructure, including the purchase of new equipment, and now, all the states are better prepared to fight the pandemic, according to the statement issued by the Ministry of DoNER.
Taking note of the fact that all the states are getting severely affected by the pandemic compared to the first wave, the minister asked the northeastern states to send health-related proposals at the earliest and promised to process them on priority basis in the ministry, it said.
He also instructed the senior officials of the ministry to coordinate with health, railways and other relevant ministries at the Centre to fulfil the demands of the Northeastern states.
Singh said almost all the states have flagged off issues such as a shortage of oxygen, vaccines and essential drugs like Remdesivir and assured them that he will personally take up these matters with the Union health minister.
At the same time, he appealed to people not to hoard oxygen and essential drugs as a precaution and not to panic.
Singh also underlined the need for community management of the pandemic by roping in youngsters, the civil society, religious heads and women self-help groups to create awareness among the public.
He also recalled that in the early days of lockdown-1 last year, the Ministry of DoNER had stepped in pre-emptively and placed an amount of Rs 25 crore at the disposal of the northeastern states for preparatory steps to tackle the pandemic.(PTI)