Agartala: The Tripura government has imposed ‘weekend curfew’ and extended the restrictions across the state till July 17 after 138 cases of the ‘Delta Plus’ variant of COVID-19 were reported, raising serious concern for the administration and the health department.

Addressing a press conference, health officials said that the state has reported a massive surge in new variants of COVID-19, including Delta Plus, Delta and the UK variant.

“A total of 151 samples were sent for genome sequencing at the regional laboratory in Kolkata. The report came out as shocking as more than 90 per cent of the samples were of Delta Plus variant. Not just West Tripura, other districts have also reported cases of the new variants,” microbiologist Tapan Majumder told reporters.

In all, 138 Delta Plus variants, 10 Delta variants and three Alpha variants of COVID-19 have been reported in Tripura so far. Expressing concern, Majumder said that 115 cases of the Delta Plus variant were found in West Tripura district, eight in Sepahijala, two in South Tripura, one each in Khowai and Dhalai, four in Unakoti, two in North Tripura and five in Gomati district.

According to Majumder, there is a need to review the situation again. The health department has sent a proposal to the state government to take the necessary course of action, he added.

Meanwhile, revenue secretary Tanushree Debbarma said that the curfew had been extended in the past one month. Now, the situation has been reviewed again, she said.

“It has been decided that a complete curfew will be enforced across Tripura from 12 noon on July 10 to 6 am on July 12. Everything will be closed except emergency services during that period,” Debbarma said.

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Only those with emergency services will be allowed to travel. Besides, from 12 noon on July 12 to 5 am on July 17, both day and night curfew will be in place in the areas under Agartala Municipal Corporation, Ranirbazar Municipal Council, Jirania Nagar Panchayat, Udaipur Municipal Council, Kailashahar Municipal Council, Dharmanagar Municipal Council, Khowai Municipal Council, Belonia Municipal Council, Kumarghat Municipal Council, Teliamura Municipal Council, Sonamura Nagar Panchayat, Amarpur Nagar Panchayat and Sabroom Nagar Panchayat.

Health officials have urged the people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour and maintain social distancing in order to stop the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the decision of the state administration to impose weekend curfew has been welcomed by a section of people and intellectuals and has been considered as an eye-opener for those flouting COVID-19 norms.

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