State

Local group writes to CM on availability of ventilators

Shillong, May 13: The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organisation has written to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma raising concern about the availability of ventilators in the state.

In a letter dated May 13, the organisation said, “Last year, in March 2020, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan provided/assured 300 life-saving ventilators to Meghalaya. These equipment are provided to the state government to ensure that fatalities are reduced to the minimum but little is known of whether the authorities are utilising them or are they still in the store room.”

It pointed out that while other states have started training support staff and frontline workers in using ventilators and treating patients who are on life support, “no such activity has been conceived yet in the state or even if it has been conceived, implementation is far-fetched, thereby indicating non-usage of such vital life-saving equipment despite being in ample possession”.

“According to present rough estimates based on approximately 5 lakh residents of Shillong (not including the floating population), there could be as many as 25,000 serious Covid-19 cases requiring serious medical intervention including the use of ventilators,” the letter said.

The organisation said the pandemic has affected the state’s population, especially the BPL families, “who have struggled, toiled and cried for survival over the last 12 months”.

“Without any intent to undermine the ongoing efforts of the state government, we would iterate here the need to immediately put to use the said ventilators and any other available equipment that could even be stuck due to red tape lest it be said ‘We fell short’,” it added.

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