Mizoram’s main opposition party, Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), on Monday, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention for the installation of an RT-PCR machine in the Lunglei district to ramp up the COVID-19 test amid the rising cases in the state.

Mizoram has one RT-PCR laboratory at Zoram Medical College (ZMC), which is the lone dedicated COVID-19 hospital in the state, and TrueNat laboratories are installed in 10 district hospitals.

ZPM’s southern headquarters said in its letter that the RT-PCR machine is not provided to Lunglei district, which is the largest district in the state and this hindered the delivery of accurate test results.

It said that an RT-PCR machine was donated by an individual in June 2020, and the government is yet to give clearance for its installation in Lunglei.

Citing that the delay in the installation has greatly disappointed the people, the opposition party alleged that the installation was deliberately delayed by the state government due to political interest.

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Being the largest town in southern Mizoram, Lunglei has been an important hub for trading and social interactions since the British rule and the district has only one TrueNat laboratory, which can load only four samples at a time. This has slowed the testing capacity, it said.

It said that there is urgency for the RT-PCR machine to be installed in Lunglei town to scale up the testing capacity amid rising COVID-19 cases in the state.

The letter also said that the RT-PCR machine, when installed in Lunglei, will benefit the people residing in neighbouring districts too. It urged the Prime Minister to intervene for the immediate installation of the RT-PCR machine in the district.

Meanwhile, an official said that the installation of the RT-PCR machine, donated by a Congress legislator, was delayed as there are many infrastructural requirements and formalities to be completed before the installation.

Mizoram, on Monday, reported 45 new COVID-19 cases, taking the state’s tally to 4,904. The state now has 374 active cases, while 4,518 people have recovered from the virus.

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