Centre urged to increase testing centres: Jayantakumar

IMPHAL, 11th May: Health and family welfare minister L Jayantakumar said that the union health minister has been urged to increase the testing centres in the state keeping in view of the number of stranded state natives entering the state every day.
The minister was interacting with media persons during a programme for distributing portable ventilator machines to CMOs of five districts held in the conference hall of his office here on Monday. One each of the portable ventilator machine, which could be run by battery or electricity, was given to Thoubal, Bishnupur, Noney, Kamjong and Pherzawl districts.
During the event, the minister said that developed countries are facing worst situation because of COVID-19 pandemic and the state government is taking up necessary steps to face the situation effectively in case of any eventualities. Ventilator is an important equipment for treatment of COVID-19 patients as well as other acute respiratory problems. The portable ventilator being provided to the districts can be run on battery power for two hours apart from electric power.
He further said that Thoubal and Bishnupur district hospitals have good buildings. However, in case of Noney, Kamjong and Pherzawl districts, the construction of the hospital buildings are in process. As such, the ventilators will be installed in CHCs of PHCs. All the districts have already been equipped with two to four ventilators and the portable ventilators are addition to the existing ones, he added.
Regarding the inconveniences facing by the state government in testing samples collected from evacuated state natives, the minister said that lack of manpower and testing facilities is the problem facing by the government. TB testing centres can be easily modified for testing COVID-19 testing and the union health minister was urged during a video conference with the health ministers of northeast states to increase the number of testing facilities. The union minister gave positive response to the proposition of the state government for granting ICMR authorisation for the same, Jayantakumar added.
He further said that several countries are working towards finding cure and vaccine for the pandemic. Remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug made by pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, has recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of COVID-19. He proposed the union minister during the video conference to make preparations for procuring the drug in case it turns out to be effective and mass production starts, the minister added.

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