Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma launched three emergency Oxygen plants at three civil hospitals in the state to provide intensive-care treatment to COVID-19 patients.
The oxygen supply has been made available at Tura, Jowai and Nongpoh civil hospitals in Meghalaya.
After Meghalaya witnessed a nearly five-fold spike in active Covid cases last month, the daily count has gradually started declining -- 421 new cases were reported on Tuesday. The state now has 4,273 active cases. Along with restrictions and lockdowns, the government has also begun strengthening healthcare facilities.
A total of eight oxygen generation plants are being installed in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura with the help of Japan and United Nations Development (UNDP).
The plants, which have the capacity to serve approximately 1,300 hospital beds, utilise pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology to produce up to 800 litres of oxygen per minute.
The chief minister, after inaugurating the oxygen generation plants, said: "I would like to thank UNDP, the people of Japan and the Government of Japan for contributing to this crisis management and enabling the state of Meghalaya to fight Covid in a stronger way."
"The relationship between Japan and India has been grow from strength to strength. The Prime Ministers of both India and Japan have expressed their desire for the two nations to work together and many areas of collaboration are taking place today," Mr Sangma added.
He said in a crisis like this, the true nature of our relationship comes out. "This help only confirms and strengthens the relationship of Japan and India."
The chief minister later tweeted photos of the new oxygen plant at Tura Civil Hospital and said: "A momentous occasion as Meghalaya inaugurates 3 Oxygen Generation Plants today funded by @IndianEmbTokyo and @UNDP_India."
On behalf of Meghalaya, I express my deepest gratitude to @UNDP_India and the Embassy of Japan to India for contributing the O2 Plants to help strengthen the health facilities crucial in our fight against Covid.@shokonodapic.twitter.com/PBSsaDhPW4— Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) June 22, 2021
"As a good friend and partner of India, Japan is very happy to strengthen the capacity of health facilities in Meghalaya in partnership with UNDP. We hope that our contribution will help save more lives," Satoshi Suzuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of India, said.
Shoko Noda, UNDP Resident Representative in India, said: "The UNDP stands committed to support the government of India with support from donors, development partners and UN sister agencies. I am happy that our several months of effort to procure, build capacity of hospital staff and set the plants up and running has come to fruition. Together, we can better prepare for future crises."
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Meghalaya rose to 45,976 on Tuesday, a health department official said, while the death count rose to 788.