Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh attended a video conference of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan with the Chief Ministers and Health ministers of seven different States to review the COVID-19 situation in these States. The States were Manipur, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Goa.
Speaking at the video conference, N. Biren Singh thanked the Central Government for extending all possible help to the State in combating the pandemic in the past 10 months. With the assistance from the Centre, he said, the State has received 95 ventilators, 400 oxygen concentrated machines and 500 D-Type oxygen cylinders recently. Stating that the State Government was earlier concerned about the rise in the mortality rate, the Chief Minister said that it is slowly coming down now after a technical expert committee was formed to look into the matter.
In the beginning, the Chief Minister said, Manipur was doing extremely well in containing the virus. However, the State started witnessing a sudden hike of positive cases of COVID-19 after thousands of native Manipuris were brought in Shramik Special trains, he informed.
Maintaining that the testing rate has been improved for early detection of positive cases of COVID-19, the Chief Minister said that 3,72,000 samples had been tested so far for COVID-19 in the state. The current testing rate of Manipur is quite higher than the national average, he added.
According to Biren Singh, in order to reduce the transmission rate, the State Government is focusing on imparting awareness at the grassroots level.”For this, village level committees have been formed, and local clubs, organizations, NGOs, etc. have been roped in to get them involved in creating awareness to make people follow the SoPs strictly. The main objective of the initiation is to gain momentum of the Jan Andolan campaign against COVID-19 and promote the COVID Appropriate Behavior (CAB),” Biren added.
Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) being a major and most important hospital of the State, the Chief Minister requested the Union Health Minister to permit flexibility in the fund utilization so that the hospital may meet the urgent needs and cope up with the challenges that emerge from time to time in combating the virus.
Informing the Health Minister that manpower and equipment inadequacies of the Central Government-run hospital are even sometimes fulfilled with the funds from the State Government considering its urgency, the Chief Minister said that he would list all the requirements of the hospital in detail in a letter to the Union Health Minister.
N. Biren Singh also invited Dr. Harsh Vardhan in advance to the Golden Jubilee celebration of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) to be held next year. The Chief Minister also requested him to entrust the responsibility of the construction of the National Centre for Disease Control to the State Government. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also assured N. Biren Singh to look into the matters raised during the video conference.