Shillong, Jul 3: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr. Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that there is progressive decline in COVID cases in all the North Eastern States except Meghalaya.
In a meeting convened to review the COVID situation in North Eastern States, the Minister expressed satisfaction that all the States are catching up with national average in terms of decline in positivity rate.
“Meghalaya is the only exception which witnessed a surge due to the Corona outbreak in a Jail in District Ri-Bhoi,” he added.
Dr. Singh was informed that in the North Eastern Region, positivity rate, which was 3.96% on 30th June 2021 has gone down to 2.94% on 2 July 2021. This is in tune with the national average declining from 2.34% on 30 June 2021 to 2.09% on 2nd July, 2021.
The meeting was attended by Health Secretaries and senior officials of all the eight North-eastern States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland as well as Union Secretary Ministry of North East, Secretary North Eastern Council and Joint Secretary In- charge Northeast in the Ministry of Health and senior official from NITI Aayog.
All the eight States informed the Minister that they are taking regular measures to defeat the 2nd wave of the pandemic and at the same time augmenting the health infrastructure with support from Central Government and the Ministry of DoNER. Dr Singh cautioned that decline in active cases must be followed with greater thrust on vaccination and strict observance of Corona Protocol. He said, he is in constant touch with all the eight Chief Ministers of North Eastern States and whatever help is sought from the States is being promptly provided from the Centre. The Minister took note of the vaccine supply issues of the States of Nagaland and Manipur and directed the Union Health Ministry officials to address the same on an urgent basis.
Dr. Singh said, what is worrisome is that in the last wave of the pandemic, Northeast had remained relatively unaffected by COVID compared to many other States and some States like Sikkim did not have a single corona positive case throughout the lockdown period. But in contrast this year, North Eastern States have also witnessed significant rise in corona positive cases.
In the month of May, during the peak in Corona cases in North-Eastern States, Dr. Singh had taken a high level meeting in the wake of considerable media attention. He had directed the officials to find ways and means of ensuring that the rising graph of corona positive cases in different North Eastern States starts declining or immediately shows the flattening of the Curve. The Minister had advised for strict enforcement measures and extensive testing and contact tracing measures.
He said that he is taking daily updates from all the eight North Eastern States about the prevalence of COVID and necessary health facilities and infrastructure to fight the pandemic in an effective manner.
He also expressed satisfaction that all the North Eastern States have sufficient bed capacities and oxygen stock. He said, the Ministry of DoNER and NEC are taking proactive steps in supplementing and augmenting the COVID related infrastructure. He also referred to support given by Japan and UNDP for installation of Oxygen Plants in each of the eight North Eastern States.
Dr. Singh noted that during the first phase, all the eight North Eastern States managed COVID-19 very effectively and the entire region emerged as a model of Corona management in the entire country. He, however, expressed concern that during the second phase COVID-19 took a huge toll in the region in comparison to last year.