With Covid cases mounting, Central team to reach Tripura on Thursday

In view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in Tripura, a two-member Central experts’ team would arrive in the northeastern state on a 10-day visit on Thursday to take stock of the situation and suggest measures to curb the spread of the virus, officials said on Wednesday.

A senior official of the Health and Family Welfare Department said that two experts, Daisy Panna, Consultant Epidemiologist, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and P.K. Verma, Assistant Professor, Respiratory Medicine, Lady Hardinge Memorial College (LHMC), will visit the state for 10 days.

“After visiting the districts, the Central team would hold meetings with the senior officials of the state. They would submit their report to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the Tripura Health Department,” the official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Tripura’s Additional Chief Secretary in-charge of Health and Family Welfare Department, Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, has been appraising the Union Health Ministry about the prevailing situation in the state amid a sudden spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Till Tuesday night, Tripura reported 16,157 Covid-19 cases, of which 9,653 persons have recovered while 160 people have succumbed to the dreaded disease since June 9, when the first death was reported.

Tripura’s mortality and recovery rates are 0.99 per cent and 59.83 per cent, respectively, worst among the eight northeastern states.

“Considering the gravity of the situation, the Tripura government had earlier suggested imposing total lockdown in the state on September 5 and 6, but the Union Home Ministry did not respond on the issue,” Tripura Law and Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said.

Of the total number of cases and fatalities, at least 85 deaths and 6,129 positive cases have been reported from West Tripura district alone, under which the capital city of Agartala falls.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who also holds the health portfolio, had earlier said that Covid-19 crisis in the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) areas is extremely alarming.

Around five lakh people reside in the AMC areas. Of the 49 wards in the AMC, 70 per cent Covid-19 cases have been found 10 ten wards.

Deb, who is visiting the districts to supervise the Covid-19 management, told the media that health infrastructures are being strengthened in all the 10 districts.

A three-member Central team, led by G.K. Medhi, Professor and Head of the Department of Community Medicine at the Shillong-based North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), after studying the source and other aspects of the coronavirus infection in Tripura, has recently submitted its report to the state government.

Meanwhile, former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has criticised the state government for its failure to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have given many suggestions to the Chief Minister to strengthen the health infrastructures and improve the health services, but the state government is yet to implement many of our recommendations.

“The state government should also announce financial schemes for the welfare of the poor people and those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and the subsequent economic distress,” Sarkar, also a politburo member of the CPI-M, told the media.