The order to this effect was issued by state chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, who is also chairman of the executive committee of State Disaster Management Authority

Aizawl: The Mizoram government will open its border with Assam and Tripura and Lengpui Airport thrice a week to regulate movement of people from August 24 following a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, a home department official said on Thursday.

The order to this effect was issued by state chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, who is also chairman of the executive committee of State Disaster Management Authority, on Wednesday, the official said.

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The order stated that Lengpui airport and two entry points — at Kanhmun on the Mizoram-Tripura border and Vairengte on the state border with Assam — will be open only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for entry of persons by flights and road transportation starting from August 24 until further order.

Mizoram has sealed international and inter-state borders barring a few entry points, which were opened for vehicles carrying goods, in March to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

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The government order opening Lengpui airport and inter-state borders thrice a week said that the surge in inter-state movement of people due to resumption of economic and livelihood activities has resulted in the spike of COVID-19 positive cases within the state recently.

“As the quarantine and healthcare facilities of the state are currently overburdened by the influx of people and the rising positive cases of COVID- 19, it is felt necessary to regulate the inter-state movement of people so as to calibrate it with the coping capacity of the quarantine and healthcare facilities of the state,” the order said.

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Mizoram has banned the entry of trucks and other vehicles carrying goods barring essential commodities into the state since August 7. The ban was imposed after a sizeable number of truck drivers and their helpers coming from outside the state have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the health department, at least 129 truckers and their helpers from outside the state have been diagnosed with the virus by Thursday. Mizoram on Thursday reported 14 new COVID-19 cases, including 12 truckers.

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The state’s COVID-19 tally now stands at 874, including 148 female. There are 472 active patients while a total of 402 people have already recovered.

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