Meghalaya: Health officials stress on intensive & extensive COVID vaccination drive
Giving prominence to COVID-19 vaccination, Director of Health Services (MI), Dr Aman Warr on Tuesday said that the vaccination drive would start from Shillong and move out to other parts of Meghalaya.
Addressing media persons in Shillong, Dr Warr said at present, Meghalaya has a sufficient supply of medicines and medical facilities to handle the situation.
Earlier, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed that an intensive vaccination drive would be held in Shillong and Tura on April 21.
“Request all citizens above 45 years of age to get themselves vaccinated & protect themselves,” Sangma tweeted.
The health official informed that currently, Meghalaya has 80,000 doses of COVID vaccines which can last for 10 days.
Dr Warr said that the state government has 32 invasive oxygen cylinders and, with the support of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it will acquire another 54 non-invasive ventilators. The state has 75 BiPAPs (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure).
He also informed that Meghalaya has around 609 oxygen support beds and 65 ICU beds. The state also has its own oxygen plant at Byrnihat in Ri Bhoi.
WHY THE SURGE?
Dr Rajeev Sarkar, an epidemiologist at the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), said, “It is because we do not have a controlling mechanism in place like we did last year.”
VACCINATED PERSONS ARE NOT IMMUNE TO VIRUS
Dr Vijay Nongpyiur, a Pulmonologist from North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), said that vaccination does not mean that people will not be contracting the virus.
It will reduce the severity, but it will not cure as there are cases elsewhere in the world that vaccinated individuals still contract the virus, he added.
Health officials said that the efficacy is six months and, it may require an annual dose in the future, just like the flu vaccine.
At present, there are 80,000 stocked vaccines. There are 181,000 vaccinated persons in the state.
CHANGE IN SYMPTOMS
As for the COVID cases, the Surgeon Superintendent of Shillong Civil Hospital, Dr Andreas Dkhar, said there is no change in the symptoms. “There are only a few cases that came with loose motion. Hence, the treatment is the same,” he added.
As for the Kumbh Mela attendees, it is not yet known how many attended. However, health officials said that the travel history would be collected from the entry-exit point at Umling in Ri Bhoi.
Meghalaya reported 137 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the total active cases to 857.
BREAKUP OF CASES:
East Jaintia Hills: 01 (Returnee–01)
East Khasi Hills: 111 (Returnee–62, Armed Force/Paramilitary Force–11, High Risk–15, Mawlai Cluster–03, ILI Cases- 12, SARI Case-01, Police–01, Screening Purpose–06).
Ri Bhoi: 09 (Returnee–07, ILI Cases–02)
South West Khasi Hills: 01 (Returnee–01)
West Garo Hills: 04 (Returnee–01, High Risk–03).
West Jaintia Hills: 07 (Bakur Cluster–02, Returnee–04, Screening Purpose–01)
West Khasi Hills–4 (Returnee–03, Screening Purpose–01).
With 34 new recoveries reported the total number of persons recovered from the infection is 14,105.
(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)
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