The Ladakh administration is set to establish oxygen parlours in different parts of the cold desert to deal with high-altitude sickness that affects hundreds of tourists visiting the UT every year. Director of Health Dr Motup Dorjey said to deal with any high-altitude medical emergency, the department would establish oxygen parlours at the Khardung La top, Gya village on the Leh-Manali highway, Tsoltak, Zangla and Abran health and wellness centres in Zanskar. “Oxygen parlours will also be set up at three new tourist routes opened by the Tourism Department, which includes Phobrang at Marstemik La-Tsog Tsa Lu route, Shyok-Galwan route and Panamik-Siachen route,” said Dr Dorjey.
Medical emergencies are reported every year during the tourist season in Ladakh. Domestic and foreign tourists visit in large number in the months of May, June and July. Interestingly, the authorities have also kept several Gamov bags, which increase air pressure for patients suffering from altitude illness, at Khardung La, Tsoltak near Chang La, Spangmik near Pangong Lake and Tangste Medical Centre.
The Ladakh administration has already started preparations for the tourist season as well as a G20 event from April 25 to 28. An immediate emergency assistance committee (IEAC) has also been constituted for assessing and monitoring of all kinds of crisis situations, prevention of the recurrence of emergencies in the UT, providing expert guidance and devising contingency plans, interventions and guidelines.
Even the police have developed a mobile application ahead of the tourist season. Ladakh Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Satish Khandare said the application had been developed with the aim of providing tourists with a comprehensive platform to access information about destinations, maps, eco buses and the 24×7 police helpline number in the event of an emergency.
The Ladakh tourist police is also maintaining continuous communication with travel agencies, hospitality sector, airlines to assist tourists with any information they may require.
Tackling altitude sickness
- Altitude sickness affects hundreds of tourists visiting Ladakh
- Parlours to be set up at Khardung La, Gya village, Zanskar, etc
- Gamov bags, which increase air pressure, have also been arranged