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2 new oxygen plants to help Ladakh breathe easy as input without Covid report blocked | India News


LEH: The Ladakh administration will increase oxygen supply in the union territory by adding two new plants in the coming days and will roll out measures to decentralize Covid-19 testing to the block level, including when it bans the entry of tourists and migrant workers. no negative RT-PCR report to check for increased infections.
“There are adequate facilities in terms of beds, oxygen and testing. They are also being expanded. Currently, Ladakh has two oxygen plants in the government sector. One in Leh and Kargil. There are two more plants in the private sector in Leh. Two other plants They will be ready in the next few days, one in Leh and Kargil. We are also working on two more plants, possibly in the Nubra subdivision of Leh and the Zanskar subdivision of Kargil in the coming weeks. ” Divisional Commissioner Saugat Biswas told TOI.
He said blocking the entry of people without negative reports combined with movement and assembly restrictions has helped “keep things under control.” “Anyone without a valid negative RT-PCR report that is not older than 96 hours will be returned. We have established ‘filter points’ for people arriving by road through Srinagar or Manali. We have sensitized the Border Roads Organization (BRO) (which employs the majority of migrant workers) and other stakeholders on this. We have asked the states, where these migrants come from, to raise awareness about the need for a negative report so that they are not stranded upon arrival, “said Biswas.
Deputy Commissioner Shrikant Balasaheb Suse said that Covid checkpoints and quarantine facilities have been created at Upshi on the Manali road and Khaltse on the Srinagar road. For locals returning home, there is a dedicated service to transport them to a government testing center. “A seven-day home quarantine is mandatory for locals who arrive even after the test result is negative,” Suse said.
Ladakh is estimated to attract between 70,000 and 80,000 workers each “working season” from May to September for road construction and other infrastructure projects, as well as private construction. Most of these migrant workers come from Jharkhand and Bihar to work on projects in the interior of Ladakh, mostly roads built by BRO. This has fueled fears that the infection will spread among the sparsely spread population in areas where health care facilities are limited or not easily accessible. The cases began to increase since the last week of March and are around 2,000.
Suse said the daily arrival of workers by air has dropped from around 700 to 800 in two weeks to around 150 to 200 as they now prefer to arrive by road, which is cheaper. The flow of tourists has also slowed to a trickle after showing signs of a rebound in March. Biswas said the number of workers without an RT-PCR report has also been drastically reduced due to the sustained information campaign. Simultaneously, however, cases of falsified test reports have also come to light. “There have been several police complaints against the contractors,” Suse said.
Biswas said the effort is now to decentralize block-level testing to overcome the challenge of geography and the resulting distance in the region. Suse said that a CB-NAAT (alternative to RT-PCR) testing machine has been incorporated for this purpose, while the testing capacity of the testing centers, one in Leh and the other in Choglamsar, is expanded.
“Testing is ongoing. Since a number of states have made negative RT-PCR reporting mandatory, we will soon have a testing facility for tourists returning to their home states to facilitate their departure,” Biswas said.

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