Except Meghalaya, Covid cases declining in NE states: DoNER Minister

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Guwahati/Agartala, July 3 (IANS) A day after the Centre deputed multi-disciplinary teams to three northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Manipur — in view of the rising cases of Covid-19, the Union DoNER Minister, after reviewing the pandemic situation, said on Saturday that there is progressive decline in Covid cases in all the eight northeastern states, except Meghalaya.

The Union Minister of State for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh, expressed satisfaction that all the northeastern states are catching up with the national average in terms of decline in the positivity rate.

“Meghalaya is the only exception which witnessed a surge due to the Covid outbreak at a jail in the Ri-bhoi district,” Singh said after the virtual meeting with the health secretaries and senior officials of all the eight northeastern states, along with the senior officials of various ministries and NITI Aayog.

An official statement said that the Union minister was informed that in the northeastern region, the positivity rate, which was 3.96 per cent on June 30, had gone down to 2.94 per cent on Friday, compatible with the national average declining from 2.34 per cent on June 30 to 2.09 per cent on Friday.

The officials informed the minister that regular measures are being taken to defeat the second wave of the pandemic and health infrastructure is being augmented with the support of the Central government.

“What is worrisome is that in the last wave of the pandemic, the northeast region had remained relatively unaffected as compared to many other states. Few states like Sikkim did not have a single positive case throughout the lockdown period last year,” Singh said.

“But in contrast this year, the northeastern states have also witnessed significant rise in corona positive cases,” the minister added.

He said the DoNER Ministry and the North Eastern Council are taking proactive steps in supplementing and augmenting the Covid related infrastructure in the region.

He also referred to the support given by Japan and UNDP for the installation of oxygen plants in each of the eight northeastern states.

Tripura Covid-19 Surveillance Officer Dip Debbarma said that a two-member central team led by R.N. Sinha, Director, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, would arrive in the state on Monday.

The Centre had on Friday deputed multi-disciplinary teams to Kerala, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and three northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, and Manipur — in view of the increased number of Covid-19 cases being reported from these states.

The central teams consisting of a clinician and a public health expert would visit the states and monitor the overall implementation of Covid management measures, including testing, surveillance and containment operations, Covid appropriate behaviours and their enforcement, availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics, vaccination etc.

–IANS
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