– Ezrela Daldia Fanai
Mizoram is facing a daily surge in Covid-19 cases with over 13000 active cases and 160 deaths. Oxygen and medicine supplies have also been hampered due to blockade of National Highway 306 at Lailapur, Assam.
The economy in Mizoram has been hit badly with the ongoing lockdown since April 20. Although lockdown has reduced the luxury needs of the people with temporary shortage of food items are aided by the community, the churches and elected members, putting a dampner on the economy as whole. Help also comes by way of a certain amount of cash from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. No doubt COVID-19 with its containment measures has adverse effect on the economy of the people in Mizoram.
Mizoram was doing fairly well till March-April 2021 after which cases skyrocketed coinciding with the deadly wave of coronavirus in India.
Talking to Northeast Today about the high rate of Covid-19 in Mizoram, Dr. Pachuau Lalmalsawma, state spokesperson on Covid-19 said that at the end of the first wave of COVID-19 there was relaxation of restriction for entering the state from outside. Within a short span of time, there was a surge of cases in many of the states with emergence of new variants.
The Wuhan strains as well as the new strains were brought into Mizoram by travelers which resulted in the sudden rise of COVID-19 cases, which were later evidenced by the results of whole genome sequencing from the RT-PCR COVID-19 positive samples sent to a designated laboratory in West Bengal. The predominant new variant, being Delta strain, has cased havoc in the state particularly in Aizawl district with majority of the cases found in Aizawl Municipal Corporation area.
He also added that with the high transmissibility of the new strain, it was apparent that cases have increased at the household levels in the community.
In the month of August alone, Mizoram has recorded over 3000 Covid-19 positive cases, which is a 11.01% positivity rate. To curb the rising rate of positive cases, the state has adopted a meticulous contact tracing and subsequent testing using either RAgT, for symptomatic, or by RT-PCR at the end of the quarantine period.
The state also undertakes daily screening of passengers at the airport and other strategic entry points. Mass Testing at localities within the Aizawl Municipal Corporation is underway.