Aizawl: The Mizoram cabinet on Tuesday decided to pay an ex-gratia amount of payment of Rs 20 lakh each to local volunteers if they die due to novel coronavirus, an official statement said.

The meeting of the council of ministers chaired by chief minister Zoramthanga approved a scheme for payment of ex-gratia to the relatives of a member of Village Level Task Force (VLTF) or Local Level Task Force (LLTF), who deals with Covid-19 vigilance and die due to the disease, the statement said.

The quantum of ex-gratia is fixed at Rs 20 lakh per individual, it said.

So far, Mizoram has not reported any COVID-19 fatality with VLTF or LLTF volunteers, according to an official.

VLTFs are being set in rural villages and LLTFs at towns to deal with COVID-19 duty. These voluntary task forces played important roles during the peak of the COVID-19 spread and became a great help to the state government in curtailing the spread of COVID-19.

Mizoram is known to be one of the best performing states in the country in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 due to the concerted efforts made by the state government, local volunteers, NGOs and churches.

The Northeastern state on Tuesday reported nine COVID-19 cases, taking the state’s tally to 4,500. As of Tuesday, the state has 44 active cases, while 4,445 people have recovered from the virus. The COVID-19 death toll is 11.

Meanwhile, the meeting of the council of ministers also mentioned the need to be more cautious due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The meeting also decided to amalgamate General Administration Department (GAD) and Secretariat Administration Department (SAD) for administrative convenience.

Among others, the meeting also approved the Sinlung Hills Council (Procedure and Conduct of Business) Rules, 2021, The Mizoram Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and UD&PA Regulation of Street Vending)(Amendment) Rules, 2021, The draft Mizoram Information Service Rules, 2021, The Draft Mizoram State Cooperative Service Rules, 2021, and The draft Mizoram Legal Service Rules, 2021 and the draft Mizoram Law and Judicial Department (Group ‘A’ post) Recruitment Rules, 202, the official statement added.

The cabinet also expressed concern about the incident that took place at Lungsen village in south Mizoram Lunglei district where more than 100 pigs have died due to unidentified disease.

State animal husbandry and veterinary minister K. Beichhua said that more than 108 pigs have died in the village to date due to a disease, which is yet to be verified.

He said that African Swine Fever (ASF) is suspected to be the cause of the death.

According to the minister, it has been already confirmed that the pigs were free from Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and Classical Swine Flu (CSF).

Samples will be sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal to ascertain whether or not the pig deaths are caused by ASF, he said.

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