Mizoram: Identity cars issued for Myanmar nationals
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Aizawl: Mizoram is planning to give COVID-19 vaccines to more than 12,000 Myanmar nationals who are currently taking shelter in the state after fleeing their country following a military coup this February, a health department official said on Thursday.

The Northeastern state has currently sheltered over 12,700 Myanmar refugees.

The health department official said the administrations of the border districts that house the most Myanmar nationals are gearing up to vaccinate all the eligible refugees.

According to the state police’s record accessed by this correspondent on Thursday, a total of 12,736 Myanmar nationals are currently taking refuge in different parts of Mizoram.

East Mizoram’s Champhai district houses the highest number of Myanmar nationals at 7,291, followed by the southernmost Lawngtlai district at 1746.

State capital Aizawl houses 1,622 Myanmar refugees, while there are 232 in Lunglei district, 913 in Champhai district, 659 in Hnahthial district, 116 in Serchhip district, 78 in Saitual district, 64 in Khawzawl district, 6 in west Mizoram’s Mamit district and 9 in Kolasib district, which borders Assam, the police record states.

Most Myanmar nationals are mostly from Chin state and they share the same ethnicity with the Mizos.

According to officials, a majority of the Myanmar nationals are lodged in relief camps set up by villagers, while others live with their relatives in the state and some others in rented houses, police said.

They are provided with food, utensils, blankets and other assistance by local people, NGOs and churches, they said. 

Earlier, Chief Minister Zoramthanga had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to provide asylum to the Myanmar nationals on humanitarian grounds.

The Mizoram government had also sent delegations to New Delhi, seeking assistance for the Myanmar nationals. However, the Centre is yet to give a response.

Six Mizoram districts- Champhai, Lawngtlai, Siaha, Saitual, Hnahthial and Serchhip – share a 510-km international border with Myanmar’s Chin state.

Meanwhile, state immunization officer Dr. Lalzawmi said that more than 12.29 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries till November 10. More than 7 lakh citizens have been administered the first dose, of which 5.29 lakh have been fully vaccinated, she added 

Meanwhile, Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati has praised the state in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calling the efforts by Mizoram “unique”, the Governor attributed it to the combined efforts of the state government and civil society organisations despite the pandemic taking a huge toll on the state’s resources.

Governor Kambhampati said the state mobilized the general public on a mass level with the formation of task forces in different localities and at village levels.

“These locality and village-level task forces incorporated the respective local or village councils (statutory bodies), with enthusiastic participation by the vibrant NGOs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs),” he said.

He also reminded that the state’s religious bodies have played leading roles in augmenting the collective efforts led by the state government.

“Public response has been such that even retired doctors have come forth to volunteer their services in the face of this crisis. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Urban has been working constantly in battling further the spread of the virus in the cleanliness and sanitation sector,” he added.

According to Governor Kambhampati, thousands of police personnel have been deployed for various Covid-19 related duties at international and inter-state borders, quarantine facilities and Covid Care Centres.

In addition to implementing various ongoing Central and State Health Schemes, the state government has also signed US $40 million ‘Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project’ with World Bank on June 17 in order to improve management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram, the Governor added.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the state planning and programme implementation department allocated Rs 99 crore to various departments for achieving the goals of the state’s flagship programme – Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP) – in the fiscal 2021-21, he said.

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