Mizoram health minister Dr R. Lalthangliana said on Saturday that the state government would extend the lockdown by another two weeks, in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases in neighbouring states and the return of the stranded people.
However, he said the government was yet to issue any order and fresh guidelines for the new phase of lockdown.
“We will go on lockdown for another two weeks, as stated by chief minister Zoramthanga, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as cases keep increasing in neighbouring states and stranded migrants are still returning to Mizoram,” he told The Telegraph.
He said Mizoram might have to be put under lockdown for sometime till all the stranded residents return.
According to the health minister, a meeting of ministers, high-level officials and doctors was held on Saturday to review the situation arising out of the spread of Covid-19.
He said the doctors who attended the meeting expressed concern about mass violation of social distancing norms and suggested stricter lockdown guidelines and standard operating procedure in quarantine facilities.
He urged the people to strictly adhere to social distancing norms and respect other containment rules framed by the government so that the state does not report any new case. He said the government was making massive efforts to purchase an additional RT-PCR machine.
He said the two RT-PCR-like machines — Molbio Truenat — have been successfully installed in Lunglei recently.
Lalthangliana clarified that the virology lab equipped with RT-PCR, which was installed at Zoram Medical College (ZMC) near here, was reliable for testing Covid-19 samples, as it was approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Mizoram as of now is a Covid-19-free state after its lone patient, who tested positive on March 24, recovered fully and was discharged from the ZMC on May 9.
An official of the state home department said that nearly 155 stranded people from Mumbai and Calcutta returned by two special flights on Saturday. He said that more than 10,000 people were yet to return from different parts of the country.
An official of the task group on quarantine facilities also said the government and churches have so far set up 680 facilities, including 186 halls offered by various local churches, which have a capacity to accommodate 16,576 people, till Saturday.
He said the government required facilities to accommodate at least 20,000 people, if all stranded residents return.