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Mizoram, fourth worst-hit state, has only one dedicated COVID hospital

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Mizoram’s coronavirus tally breached the one lakh-mark on Wednesday with 1,471 more people testing positive for COVID-19.

The northeastern state currently ranks fourth on the Centre’s list of worst-hit states in India, after Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, but has only one dedicated COVID-19 hospital to deal with the pandemic.

Alarmed at the situation, the Centre has sent a four-member team to the state, which has a population of around 10.91 lakh as per the 2011 Census. The team will hold a virtual meeting with all district chief medical officers to assess the situation.

The team, headed by National Centre for Disease Control 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 living.

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 now has 16,005 active cases, while 84,987 people have been cured of the disease so far, including 1,369 on Tuesday, an official said, adding that the recovery rate stood at 83.87 per cent. 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.

Dos and don’ts

A state-level team formed in September underlined that more attention has to be paid to symptomatic patients and high-risk groups. 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 procedure for COVID tests and home isolation, among other suggestions.

The expert team has also recommended strengthening of 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, with 341 beds including 34 in ICU, and around 18 dedicated health centres. 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 beginning of this month, the Mizoram government issued new guidelines with a few more relaxations to ease economic and other activities in Aizawl Municipal Corporation area and other parts of the state. The guidelines will remain in force till October 16.

The 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.

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