The Meghalaya government has urged the Centre to provide additional life-saving ventilators and personal protection equipment (PPE) for various hospitals in the state.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek said that 9 out of 11 districts in Meghalaya do not have life-saving ventilators.

In a letter to Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan, Hek urged the central government to procure an additional of 50 life-saving ventilators to install various hospitals in the state, as the state is unable to source adequate ventilators at its level.

He said the state would be able to stock up to 70 ventilators only in the coming weeks. “The state is in dire need of ambulances for transportation of patients especially COVID-19 affected,” Hek added.

On the availability of PPEs, Hek informed the Union minister that the state has about 2500 PPEs in stock and an expected lot of 5000 would be required.

On an average, 25 bedded isolation ward filled with COVID-19 patients would require 75 PPEs on a day. “We are trying to reach a capacity of over 100 beds for which we require around 65,000 PPEs for three weeks of use. In addition, we may also require PPEs for ambulance drivers and ground-level workers which would make it up to 75,000 PPEs,” Hek said.

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Moreover, Hek said that the Northeast states depend upon Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and other states for supply of PPEs since there are no factories producing PPEs in the region. “There is also a feedback that many states are informally issuing moratorium to the manufacturers to prioritize for their respective states,” Hek stated in the letter.

Hek also informed that there is also an acute shortage of N95 masks, the first protection drive for the frontline workers. “Sourcing and delivery have become a major point of concern. If such crucial materials availability can be centrally provided to the state it would go a long way in dealing with the pandemic,” he said.

Hek also urged the centre to explore the possibilities of funding the information and broadcasting wing of the state to build their capacity now so that the details reach the last mile.

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