Aizawl: Mizoram opposition parties Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and Congress on Friday accused the ruling Mizo National Front government headed by Chief Minister Zoramthanga of having “miserably failed” in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

However, a minister denied the allegation and claimed that Mizoram was one of the best performing states in COVID-19 management in the country.

ZPM legislature party leader Lalduhoma said the state government has totally failed in COVID-19 management despite strong support it received from the people, especially the churches and NGOs. He blamed the government for allegedly refusing to set up more RT-PCR laboratories despite offers from different quarters and accused it of using Rapid Antigen Test as the main basis for COVID-19 diagnosis.

According to the ZPM leader, the average proportion of samples tested through RT-PCR facility for three months between June and August was a meager 22.66 per cent against 70.89 per cent of Rapid Antigen Test.

While the RT-PCR testing percentage for COVID-19 in August stood at 12.31 per cent, more than 84 per cent of samples were tested through Rapid Antigen Test kits during the same month, he said. 

“Despite holding the dubious distinction of imposing the longest lockdown in the world, Mizoram can’t curtail the rising COVID-19 cases till date,” he said.

Lalduhoma, who was re-elected in the bypoll in April after his disqualification under the anti-defection law, also accused the government of concealing the truth about the COVID-19 situation of the state.

Even though the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in West Bengal had already displayed the detection of six cases of highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 in Mizoram through its database back in February, the state government made it public only 2 months later after ZPM had revealed the matter.

He said the COVID-19 recovery rate of Mizoram on Friday was 81.56 per cent, which was comparatively low against the national average of 97.48 per cent.

Congress also said that the state government had miserably failed to curtail the rising COVID-19 cases in the state and blamed health minister R. Lalthangliana for claiming Mizoram as one of the best performing states in COVID-19 management.

The prolonged lockdown, which has been imposed since April, has severely paralysed the state’s economy and adversely affected the career of students, the party said. It further re-appealed the health minister to relinquish his office on ground of moral responsibility for the rising COVID-19 cases in the state.

Meanwhile, R. Lalthangliana reiterated that Mizoram was one of the best performing states in the country in terms of COVID-19 management and vaccination. 

He said the state topped among the Northeastern states in COVID-19 tests, as more than 9 lakh samples have been tested for COVID-19, which is 82 per cent of its population based on 2011 census. He claimed that the COVID-19 detection rate was high because of good performance and high testing number of samples.

“The government targeted most suspected and vulnerable sections, which also resulted in high number of COVID-19 positive cases,” the health minister said.

According to the health minister, Mizoram now stands at 8th position in vaccination as 85 per cent of the targeted population has been vaccinated. 

Mizoram on Friday reported 1,055 COVID-19 cases, the fourth consecutive day where it reported over 1,000 cases in a day. The COVID-19 count now stands at 69,026, of which 11,928 are active. The death toll rose to 233 as two more people have succumbed to the infection on Friday. With 510 people till Friday evening, as many as 56,865 people have recovered from the infection.

Over 6.62 lakh people have been vaccinated till date.

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