Mizoram clarion call to retired doctors
The Mizoram government has stepped up efforts to check the spread of novel coronavirus after detection of the first positive case by recalling retired doctors and asking neighbouring Assam and Tripura to maintain strict vigil along the inter-state borders, a top health official said on Wednesday.
Mizoram was facing twin hurdles of manpower crunch and infrastructure crisis amid the spread of Covid-19.
Principal director of heath, Dr F. Lallianhlira, said the government had collected details of retired doctors and prepared duty rosters. He said the measure was taken to ameliorate the manpower crisis during the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Health minister Dr R. Lalthangliana said the existing infrastructure and manpower was not upto the mark compared to other states.
He said the state government had formed a medical operation team with private hospitals to strengthen coordination and expedite availability of facilities.
Lalthangliana said he had spoken to Assam chief minister Sarbananada Sonowal and Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma to expedite screening and maintain strict vigil at all duty posts along their borders with Mizoram.
He said he suggested residents stranded in different parts of the country stay at their respective places. He said the state government had made special arrangement to accommodate the stranded passengers at Mizoram Houses in various cities.
Health department officials said village and local-level task forces have been instructed to maintain strict vigil in their respective areas and ensure no one starves.
All streets across the state wore a deserted look on Wednesday.
According to sources, a group of people, playing cards, were asked by the local-level task force to go home. Some residents, who went to buy food items, were also informed through the public announcement system to return home.
Videos widely shared on social media showed the task force restricting public movement and asking people not to step out of their homes and wash hands regularly through public announcement. They also made arrangements for buying essential items by maintaining social distancing. On Wednesday, people were allowed to buy essential items between 7am and 9am.
However, in some localities in Aizawl, essential commodities were disbursed under supervision of the local-level task forces.
Lalthangliana said the government had advised people to strictly follow social distancing and would look to avoid the rush on markets. He said all public interviews in the chief minister’s office, ministers’ offices and other government offices have been cancelled and staff attendance cut to maintain social distancing.
On Wednesday, Mizoram’s lone Rajya Sabha MP Ronald Sapa Tlau donated Rs 10 lakh to fight the coronavirus.
Dr Lalmalsawma Nghaka, an entrepreneur and Youth Congress leader, also donated Rs 50,000 to the state government for personal protective equipment. Opposition ZPM legislator Vanlalthlana also distributed hand sanitisers and Rs 5,000 each to local-level task forces in Aizawl.
Food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister K. Lalrinliana on Wednesday announced that below poverty line families, Antyodaya Anna Yojana and priority household card-holders would be given free ration during April.
In a televised message, Lalrinliana appealed to the people to avoid hoarding of essential commodities and appealed to traders not to hike prices. He said the government had adequate stock of rice and other essential items.