Tripura’s Covid-19 situation worsens, central team in state

In view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in Tripura, a three-member Central experts team arrived in the northeastern state on Thursday on a 10-day visit to study the situation and suggest measures to control spread of the disease, officials said.

Till Thursday night, Tripura reported 17,281 Covid-19 cases, of which 10,255 persons have recovered while 172 people have succumbed to the infectious disease since June 9, when the first death was reported.

Tripura’s mortality and recovery rates are one per cent and 59.41 per cent, respectively, the worst among the eight northeastern states.

At least 88 deaths and 6,325 cases have been reported from West Tripura district alone, under which capital Agartala falls.

Official of the Health and Family Welfare Department said that three experts, Daisy Panna, Consultant Epidemiologist, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), P.K. Verma, Assistant Professor, Respiratory Medicine, Lady Hardinge Memorial College (LHMC) and Satyajit Sen, Regional Director of Health and Family Welfare Ministry, would visit different Covid-19 hit districts for 10 days.

“After visiting the districts, the Central team would hold meetings with 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.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, has been apprising the Union Health Ministry about the prevailing situation in the state amid a sudden spike in the number of cases.

“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,” Law and Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said.

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 as around five lakh people reside there.

Of AMC’s 49 wards, 70 per cent Covid-19 cases have been found in 10 wards.

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

Earlier, 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 Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and former Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman have separately criticised the state government for its failure to control the spread of the 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. EOM

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