Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma

The Meghalaya government has spent around Rs 240 crore for the management of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, chief minister Conrad Sangma said on July 9.

Addressing mediapersons, the chief minister said that the money was spent on building infrastructure, procurement of equipment and other essential items including oxygen cylinders, ambulances, marks and PPE kits.

“For the second wave, from medical department including NHM and DHS, approximately Rs 240 crore has been spent. This includes mostly equipment that are being used to fight COVID ranging from prefab structures, procurement of items, oxygen cylinders, expenditures in the corona care centres and equipment including masks, ambulances and PPEs. We also have to spend on labs surveillance, oxygen concentrators – so all these expenditures have come to about Rs 240 crore for the second wave in Meghalaya,” CM Sangma told reporters.

“We are at an advanced stage to complete the cryogenic plants in Jengjal and Shillong and we are hopeful both these plants should be up within the next two weeks’ time. In fact, will be able to start trials of these plants in may be a weeks’ time, especially in Shillong,” Sangma said.

“This will ensure that if we are hit by the third wave then we will be in a much better position in terms of the supply of oxygen for the long run,” the chief minister assured.

Voicing concern on some elected representatives in Meghalaya who have shown resistance to vaccination, which has hit the state hard, the chief minister said, “…there have been some elected members, who have been openly criticizing and not really promoting the vaccination programme. I would like to say, being elected members we have a responsibility to ensure our people are protected. As members we do our research. The entire world is doing research, evidences are clear that vaccination is saving lives.”

Chief minister Sangma further said that close to 80 per cent of the heath workers in the state have been vaccinated so far against the viral infection.

“There is a need to make it 100 per cent which we are pushing… which is something we are urging people. We cannot force people to take vaccination but we need to understand that we need to sensitize people, convince them that vaccination is the only way forward,” the Meghalaya chief minister said.

“Clear data coming in is that vaccination is absolutely necessary,” he said, adding that data has revealed that 92 per cent of COVID-19 victims who have lost their lives so far in the state had not taken a single dose of the vaccine.

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