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Arunachal prepared to deal with COVID-19: Health minister

PTI | Itanagar | Updated: 30-03-2020 19:04 IST | Created: 30-03-2020 19:04 IST
Arunachal prepared to deal with COVID-19: Health minister

Arunachal Pradesh is fully prepared to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, Health and Family Welfare Minister Alo Libang said on Monday. Libang, who inspected a state-run hospital with a team of officials, told PTI that medical equipment including personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitisers, masks, gloves and infrared thermometers will be airlifted to various parts of the state.

He inspected the 500-bed Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science (TRIHMS), which has been designated as an exclusive facility to treat COVID-19 patients, along with Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and other officials. TRIHMS director Dr Moji Jini told Libang that 50 patients of the hospital are being shifted to the Ramakrishna Mission Hospital and two nearby hotels have been converted into isolation wards.

State epidemiologist-cum-surveillance officer Dr L Jampa said that samples of 23 persons suspected to be infected with COVID-19 have been sent for tests and 19 have returned negative while the remaining reports are awaited. The chief secretary said that 100 tonne of potatoes have been ordered so that there is no scarcity of the item during the lockdown.

Capital Complex Superintendent of Police Tumme Amo said that many people are coming out on the streets despite imposition of the lockdown and urged them not to do so. "Policemen are risking their lives to ensure the safety of people. They should understand this and remain indoors instead of moving around in cars and on motorbikes," he said.

Meanwhile, residents of remote Monigong and Pidi circles in Shi-Yomi district bordering China are facing scarcity of food items due to the lockdown, officials said. People in the two circles have foodgrains that can last only a couple of days and air sorties have been requested, Assistant Sub-inspector of Food and Civil Supplies Department, Jawlai Singpho said.

He said foodgrains were delivered in one air sortie but subsequent sorties had to be halted due to inclement weather. Air sorties will resume once the weather becomes favourable, Singhpo said.

Around 7,000 people live in the two administrative circles. Assembly Speaker Pasang Dorjee Sona expressed deep concern over the shortage of foodgrains while taking stock of the situation in the district.

He is the MLA of Mechuka Assembly constituency in the district. Sona said it has become difficult to contact officials concerned due to errant mobile and internet connectivity in the district.

The speaker had earlier directed the district administration to take all measures to stop the spread of novel coronavirus. On the other hand, Lohit district administration distributed foodgrains to daily wage earners and migrant labourers hit by the lockdown.

Food packets containing 10 kg of rice, two kg of pulses, one litre of mustard oil and one kg of mineral salt were distributed to 131 families that are not covered under the National Food Security Act, Lohit district Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan said. The administration is identifying more such families and they would be provided relief, Dhawan added.


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