Union Minister Lauds NE States For Better Covid Management

Shillong: Union DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday praised the northeastern states for better Covid management, which has earned the respective state governments as well as the civil society groups appreciation from all quarters, an official release said.

“The northeast has emerged as a model of development in the last six years, and it has emerged as a model for effective corona management in the last six months,” the release said.

The DoNER Minister made these observations when Meghalaya Health Minister A.L. Hek called on him in Delhi on Wednesday to discuss various Covid related issues.

“The countrywide surveys conducted by impartial agencies have also testified this,” the official release said quoting Singh, who also holds the PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space portfolios.

He also appreciated the Meghalaya government and other state governments in the region for having taken proactive steps from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to break the transmission chain and strengthen the existing health systems to meet any surge in cases.

He said it is not a small achievement that during the lockdown period, almost five out of eight states in the northeast remained Covid-free and positive cases began to surface only after the movement of people started.

Singh said while the DoNER Ministry provided an initial support of Rs 25 crore to the northeastern states as a pre-emptive move even before the lockdown, the NE state governments were also prompt in initiating early effective measures.

In this regard, the Union minister referred to the proposals from at least three northeastern states to set up infectious disease hospitals as a futuristic step to meet any such epidemic in the future.

On the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh disclosed that sufficient supply of oxygen has been made available well in advance in all the peripheral territories, including NE states, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“However, the effective arrangement and operation of ventilators ensured that there was not a single complaint from the northeast of any patient having suffered on account of lack of non-availability of oxygen,” Singh said.

The DoNER minister also lauded the role of the civil society groups, particularly the women’s self-help groups, who worked day and night in the early phase of the lockdown to ensure that face masks were not only available in sufficient numbers, but also available in different varieties and designs.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Health Minister Hek placed on record the state government’s appreciation of the services rendered by the ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers.