Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu inaugurated a newly-constructed 101-bedded inpatient department (IPD) building at the Khandro Dowa Sangmo District Hospital in Tawang on July 26.
Khandu was accompanied by health minister Alo Libang and local MLAs Jambey Tashi and Tsering Tashi.
Khandu also inaugurated a 128 slice CT machine facility and inspected the newly-installed PSA oxygen plant at the hospital.
Addressing the doctors and employees of the hospital, Khandu said that the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a lesson. “We were caught off guard when COVID started. We were in no position to deal with such a pandemic. But we woke up from our slumber and with the help of central government we completely overhauled our health infrastructure. What we couldn’t do in the last 30-odd years, we did in two years,” he said.
While all the district hospitals are being upgraded, Khandu informed that in the coming days the government has decided to select, develop and equip one hospital each in each of the 60 assembly constituencies with all the facilities.
He said along with infrastructure development of hospitals, the government is procuring latest equipment and machines and also recruiting doctors, nurses and technicians to meet the demand.
Khandu appreciated the district health unit for successfully combating COVID when Tawang was emerging as one of the worst-affected districts in the second wave.
“I salute you all. You combated the virus even while sincerely doing your regular jobs to treat other diseases. And now you have shown exemplary dedication in vaccinating the people,” he said.
Khandu called upon the people to learn to live with the virus. He said the only way forward is to get vaccinated and follow all COVID-appropriate behaviours.
“I laud the district administration and health officials for reaching out to far off villages in difficult terrains to vaccinate the people,” he said.
The chief minister, however, cautioned that the latest variants of the COVID virus is prevalent in Arunachal Pradesh.
“Therefore, we cannot put our guards down. Officers, youths, panchayat leaders and educated village elders need to create awareness. People should be encouraged to get tested at the first hint of symptom. Most COVID-19 deaths in our state were due to late testing and late treatment,” he said.
Khandu urged that those unwilling to take vaccines must be convinced by village leaders and youths. “They should be made to understand that vaccination will not shield anybody from the virus but when it attacks it will not be as deadly as it is now,” he said.
He assured the people that more than 2 lakh doses of vaccine are still in stock and requested them to get themselves vaccinated as per schedule. He requested the health workers to ramp up the vaccination process.
Later, interacting with doctors of the hospital, Khandu assured a portable X-ray machine and doctors’ quarters.
The chief minister also inspected facilities like availability of beds, OT, labour & delivery ward, childcare facilities etc. at the hospital.