An important review meeting on COVID-19 pandemic & Immunization of entire Northeastern Region was held on 17th August, Wednesday at Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati,chaired by Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya.

H&FW Minister of Assam Keshab Mahanta,H&FW Minister of Sikkim Dr.Mani Kumar Sarma,H&FW Minister of Nagaland Pangnyu Phom,H&FW Minister of Mizoram Dr. R Lalthangliana & Education & Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath took part in this important meeting.
Senior officials of state H&FW Departments of all northeastern states were present to highlight the respective states’ preparedness to tackle COVID-19 & the measures to ramp up the vaccination process.
Officials from the Union Ministry viz. Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary,MoHFW,Govt of India; Pradip Halder,Advisor(RCH); L Swasticharan,Addnl DDG & Director (Emergency Medical Relief), Delhi; Sanket Kulkarni,JD,CSU-IDSP & Anil Kr Radadiya,Addnl PS to Union H&FW Minister were also part of this key strategic meet.

Vikas Sheel,Addnl Secretary of Union MoHFW speaking at the inaugural session pitched in for more testing in the NE states to prevent any further sudden rise of cases in any states. Intensifying the containment zones in high case reporting clusters backed by district wise classification of cases, augmenting the rural health infrastructure with special focus on paediatric cases were some of the advises put up by the Additional Secretary.
He also pitched for more coverage of COVID-19 vaccination amongst 60+ age group population with minimal wastage & special focus on immunization of 2nd dose amongst eligible beneficiaries & female population.

Photo:Twitter/Keshab Mahanta

The state wise presentation of COVID-19 condition & related preparedness was started by Assam being addressed by H&FW Minister Keshab Mahanta expressing gratitude towards MoHFW for extending all support & assistance in Assam’s fight against COVID-19.
Speaking on the ground level strategy of Assam, Principal Health Secretary of Assam Anurag Goel said that Assam is still conducting over one lakh tests per day to continue with the stable grapth of contact tracing of COVID Positive patients.
It is to be noted that more than 1.30 lakh patients have been treated in government hospitals & Covid Care Centers during the second wave & 2.15 lakh patients were treated through continuous monitoring & assistance while in home isolation & around 2 lakh patients were provided with medicine kits while on home isolation
which highlights a continuous coordination of all teams both at the state & district level backed by the support & dedication of health & ASHA workers who have assisted patients going beyond their line of duties & risking their lives to serve the state to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the review meeting, Principal Secretary of Manipur H&FW Department V.Vulmluunmang expressed gratitude towards Assam Government & Assam’s Chief Minister for providing assistance on oxygen support & supply to treat COVID-19 positive patients. He also said that two modular COVID hospitals in the state with 200 & 100 beds in each is being set up to ramp the state’s health infrastructure to fight COVID-19. In view of the upcoming elections in Manipur,Hon’ble Union H&FW Minister suggested Mizoram health department to speed up the vaccination process & cover as much population as possible so as to prevent any possible upsurge of COVID post the elections.

Presenting the state’s vaccination status,H&FW Minister of Mizoram Dr. R Lalthangliana stated that the state has administered 8,63,444 doses till now with 83.2% first dose & 33.9% second dose administration.

Health Department of Nagaland has mentioned that 52% of the population has been vaccinated till now. Nagaland under it’s initiative of ‘100% vaccinated villages’ has achieved the century figure in 68 villages till now.

Sikkim Health & FW Minister Dr. Mani Kumar Sarma stated that the state(having just above 5lakh population) has already vaccinated 93.5% of the population with first dose of COVID-19 vaccine till now.

Tripura’s Principal Health Secretary said that the state is witnessing a declining trend on the positivity rate & mortality rate. 32,61,557 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Tripura with 24,34,672 people with first dose & 8,26,885 people with second doses till now.

Meghalaya in it’s presentation rooted out the causes of deaths & panicking amongst common citizens due to spread of misinformation on the dynamics of COVID-19. The state also stated that out of the overall state deaths,92% people were not vaccinated.

Arunachal Pradesh has witnessed 67% of it’s population administered with first dose & 19% with second dose of COVID-19 vaccination. The state has also witnessed a increased graph of 164 oxygen beds on 2nd May,2021 to 1013 beds on 14th August,2021.

Photo:Twitter/Mansukh Mandaviya
A press briefing being given by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

Union H&FW Minister Mansukh Mandaviya after observing the requirements & strategies of the respective states assured that the nation being on the wheels of a federal democracy,the center is in full support in framing combined battling policies with the respective states to fight COVID-19. He also urged to focus in areas of producing skilled manpower at the community levels to stay prepared for the third wave of COVID-19. On behalf of the Union Ministry,the minister has assured of no shortage of vaccines to the NE states making the cycle of availability more faster depending on the rate of vaccination of respective states. He also announced that the COVID-19 Response Package shall immediately be disbursed to the states to ramp up the infrastructures & PSA plants to stay prepared to fight the 3rd wave.

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