Mizoram’s opposition Congress on Saturday urged Chief Minister Zoramthanga to replace sitting health minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana by someone more efficient for allegedly failing to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference here, Congress spokesperson and the party media chairman Dr. Lallianchhunga alleged that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) government has miserably failed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and held the health minister responsible for this.

The impasse over the installation of an RT-PCR laboratory in south Mizoram’s Lunglei town was because the health minister was against the move apparently due to political interest, he said.

He said Mizoram continues to register a spike in Covid-19 case at a time when all other states have successfully curtailed the pandemic because of the health minister’s complete failure to execute his duty, which in turn greatly impacted the state’s economy as well.

“We urge the health minister to take moral responsibility for the failure in Covid-19 management and relinquish his post to someone who is more efficient. We also urge the chief minister to seriously look into our appeal and take immediate decision to replace him for the well-being of the people in dealing with Covid-19,” Lallianchhunga said.

The Congress leader also said that the proportion of samples tested for Covid-19 through RT-PCR facility till September 2 was only 27.30 per cent against 66.64 per cent of Rapid Antigen Tests.

He said that the percentage of RT-PCR test was comparatively low as the government highly depended on Rapid Antigen Test to diagnose Covid-19.

While 20,000 Covid-19 patients have been treated in state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital Zoram Medical College (ZMC) and state-run Covid-19 Care Centres, as many as 35,000 have already been treated at Community Covid-19 Care Centres run by communities across the state, he said.

According to Lallianchhunga, there are 249 Community Covid-19 Care Centres in the state against 59 Covid-19 Care Centres.

Meanwhile, state chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said that the government is making an effort to set up an RT-PCR laboratory at Lunglei civil hospital to facilitate Covid-19 tests for four southern districts.

The construction of the building is going on and the proposed RT-PCR laboratory will be installed on the ground floor even before the upper floors are completed, he said.



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