Aizawl: Mizoram, like every other Indian state, is facing a shortage of medical manpower due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But in a positive turn of events, more than 400 people, including unemployed doctors, nurses, lab technicians and health workers, among others, have volunteered to assist the government in dealing with Covid-19, a health department official said on Wednesday.

State health department joint director (Planning) Dr C. Lalzepuii said that the state government is currently facing a faculty and manpower crunch due to the rising Covid-19 cases. Hence, it has scouted volunteers from nursing institutions and other medical institutions.

So far, 412 volunteers have come forward to the government’s help, and they are currently engaged in various COVID-19 related works. This includes sample collection, screening, contact tracing and giving care or treatment to Covid-19 positive patients in Zoram Medical College (ZMC) and COVID-19 Care Centres, she said.

Among the 412 volunteers included 37 trained doctors, 144 nurses, 97 health workers, 91 lab technicians and also pharmacists, dialysis technicians and helpers, she said.

Besides, many have also volunteered for vaccination, she said. According to Lalzepuii, nearly 900 doctors, nursing students and other medical students have volunteered to deal with Covid-19 in 2020, which had boosted the state’s manpower strength.

The state government is also facing a shortage of hospitals to treat COVID-19 positive patients following the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Lalzepuii said that at least 42 COVID-19 Care Centres (CCC) with a capacity of 2,295 and 22 Community COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCC) having 670 capacity, have been set up so far.

There are two paid Covid-19 Care Centres in the state with a capacity of 41, she said.

While the symptomatic patients are admitted at Zoram Medical College (ZMC), the lone dedicated COVID-19 hospital in the state, asymptomatic patients are mainly treated or giving care at CCC and CCCC.

Meanwhile, an Aizawl based Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Science (RIPANS) principal Dr H. Lalrinmawia said that about 70 students from the institute have volunteered for COVID-19 management.

The institute scouted volunteers from students at the request of health minister Dr R. Lalthangliana to cope with the manpower crunch, he said.

“We urged the students to volunteer themselves after taking the consent of their parents, and accordingly, around 70 students from various disciplines came forward for the mission,” he said.

Of this, about 30 B.Sc nursing students are currently engaged in vaccination, while others are engaged in sample collection, data operation and monitoring of CCCs, he said.

The COVID-19 scenario in Mizoram continues to worsen with every single passing day. The northeastern state on Wednesday reported 240 COVID-19 cases, the highest ever single-day spike in the state.

The total COVID-19 count stands at 8,035 of which 2,010 are active. A total of 6,002 people have recovered from the infection. The COVID-19 death toll in the state is 23.

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