Aizawl: Mizoram has sounded alert for the second wave of novel coronavirus as the state registered a spurt in COVID-19 cases since late March after a brief lull between December 2020 and February this year.
State health minister Dr R. Lalthangliana on Thursday said that Mizoram is in precarious and vulnerable condition as the state has witnessed the second wave of COVID-19 spread.
“If the present situation (rise in COVID-19 cases) continues like this it can be hazardous for the state, and unless preventive measures are taken in time, the situation can go from bad to worse,” the health minister told reporters.
He said that the state government would step up vigil at all entry points along the inter-state and international borders and would soon issue a new guideline given the second wave.
After a dip in novel coronavirus for a brief period, Mizoram began to register a spike in COVID-19 cases since March last week, triggering an alarm for the state machinery.
In the past week, the state has registered 46 COVID-19 cases, of which 34 patients (74%) have returned from other states, while five people have direct contact with positive patients, and it is yet to ascertain how seven patients contracted the virus.
Lalthangliana said that the state government is mulling to introduce RT-PCR to replace the Rapid Antigen Test for diagnosing returnees at Lengpui airport as some returnees who tested negative on their arrival, have later developed symptoms and eventually found infected with COVID-19.
“We will also step up vigil at Lengpui airport and other entry points along the inter-state and international borders as the majority of the recent COVID-19 cases were made up by the returnees,” he said.
Rapid Antigen Tests are used in Lengpui airport and other entry points along the interstate or international borders to screen returnees.
The health minister stressed the need to be more cautious and urged the people to adhere to Covid-19 appropriate behaviours.
He said alleged people have generally become negligent in maintaining Covid-19 appropriate behaviours after Covid-19 protocols were relaxed following a dip in infection rate.
“We will focus on more preventive measures instead of wasting money on treatment. We can’t remain complacent as the new variant is more dangerous, and Mizoram is also vulnerable to this strain. According to experts, there is no reason to believe that the vaccine will become effective,” Lalthangliana said.
So far, the state has not reported the new variant strains of Covid-19, according to the health minister.
He said that at least 200 samples were sent outside the state for analysis.
Earlier on Wednesday, Lalthangliana held interaction with leaders of churches, NGOs, village council association and Aizawl local council association, urging them to put on more efforts to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
He said residents of the Aizawl district should be more vigilant as about 80 per cent of the state’s total Covid-19 cases were reported from the district.
Mizoram on Thursday reported 14 new cases, which was the highest single-day spike in nearly three months since January 10.
The total Covid-19 cases in the state now stand at 4,522, of which 57 are active.
With the recovery of 3 persons on Thursday, as many as 4,454 people have recovered from the infection so far.