The Covid-19 spotlight is once again on the northeast as Mizoram’s virus tally breached the 1 lakh-mark on Wednesday with 1,471 more people testing positive for the infection. The northeastern state currently ranks fourth on the Centre’s list of worst Covid-19 hit state in India. It comes after Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. team headed by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) consultant-epidemiologist, Dr Vinita Gupta, on Thursday will also visit Champhai district along the India-Myanmar border, where thousands of refugees from the neighbouring country are currently residing.
The state’s coronavirus death toll rose to 335 as four more patients succumbed to the infection. The fresh infections pushed Mizoram’s caseload to 1,01,327. The state reported 210 fewer cases than Tuesday, while the single-day positivity rate dipped to 15.36 per cent from 18 per cent on the previous day, he said.
With the fresh cases, at least 92 people per 1,000 population have already been infected with Covid-19. The state now has 16,005 active cases, while 84,987 people have been cured of the disease so far, including 1,369 on Tuesday, the official said, adding that the recovery rate stood at 83.87 per cent, while the death rate was at 0.33 per cent. The administration has tested more than 11.40 lakh samples for Covid-19 so far, including 9,577 on the previous day.
Over 6.83 lakh people have thus far been vaccinated, of whom 4.55 lakh people have received both doses, State Immunisation Officer Dr Lalzawmi said. Aizawl has to date registered the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 64,589, followed by Lunglei (7,577) and Kolasib (7,177). Of the 335 coronavirus fatalities, Aizawl recorded the highest at 249, followed by Kolasib (21) and Lawngtlai (21).
Of the 11 districts in the state, Khawzawl has not reported any Covid-19 death so far.
Do’s and don’ts
A state-level expert team on Covid-19 management, which was formed in September, underlined that more attention has to be paid to symptomatic patients, high-risk groups such as pregnant women and the elderly with comorbid conditions. The team convener, Dr F Lallianhlira, who is also principal director of state health department, said that they have urged the state government to revise the standard operating procedurew (SOP) for Covid-19 test and home isolation, among other suggestions.
The expert team has also recommended strengthening of Covid-19 care facilities in the state and establishment of a dedicated wing in all district hospitals. Mizoram currently has just one Covid-19 hospital, the Zoram Medical College (ZMC), with 341 beds including 34 in ICU, and around 18 dedicated health centres (DCHCs). It also has only one RT-PCR laboratory which is at ZMC too.
A ten-day campaign to sensitise people about the importance of using face mask and sanitiser is likely to be organised from October 11.
At the beginnign of this month, the Mizoram government issued new Covid-19 guidelines with a few more relaxations to ease economic and other activities in Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) area and other parts of the state. The new guidelines will remain in force in the state till October 16.
The new order allowed the re-opening of churches in Covid-19 affected AMC area and also in other parts of the state only on Sunday and Sabbath (Saturday) during daytime with 50 per cent seating capacity.
Churches in Covid-19 free towns and villages outside AMC area have been already re-opened on August 22.
School and other higher education institutions will continue to remain closed in AMC area but training institutes will be allowed to re-open with 50 per cent seating capacity in the state capital.
The government has already allowed re-opening of schools (KG to class 12) and Anganwadi centres in coronavirus free towns outside AMC area on August 15 and further allowed re-opening of all educational institutions, including colleges, on September 5.
Re-opening of public parks is now allowed even in AMC area with 50 participants subjected to permission of local level task force of the locality where such park is located.
Social or public gatherings like anniversary or birthday celebrations and other gatherings are now allowed in AMC area with either 50 per cent of the seating capacity or 50 attendees, whichever is less.
The number of attendees in funerals and weddings in AMC area has been increased from 30 to 50 or 50 per cent of the seating capacity, whichever is less.
The government has now allowed full re-opening of all business shops, market places, hawker stalls, hotels, restaurants (with 50% seating capacity) and tourist lodges, among others, across AMC area.
All government offices in the state will now open with full staff.
Intra-state movement is allowed under exceptional cases.
Night curfew will continue to be imposed in all district headquarters between 8 pm and 4 am.
(With PTI inputs)