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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

After Centre dismisses Tripura’s Delta+ claim, Biplab Deb says ‘parameters’ change from time to time

Tripura on July 9 had said 138 Delta Plus cases were found among 151 Covid samples, but the PIB later said no positive case of that variant was reported from the state.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: July 13, 2021 3:31:23 pm
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb (Express Photo/Abhisek Saha/File)

Two days after the Centre refuted Tripura’s claims of having 138 delta plus variant cases of Covid-19, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Tuesday said ‘parameters’ of determining the variants keep changing from time to time, and hence the Government of India has clarified the issue.

“There is a parameter for Delta or Delta Plus. We sent (samples) for testing at Kalyani. There is a parameter like 1.664. It changes from time to time. Take it this way, the variant which was there seven days or 15 days back, changes in 15 days. Hence, the Government of India clarified this through the Press Information Bureau (PIB),” Deb said while speaking to reporters at the state secretariat in Agartala.

The PIB statement had said no positive case of the Delta Plus variant was reported from the sample sequencing in Tripura. The clarification succeeded a press release of the Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs Department, issued on July 9, where it said 138 Delta Plus cases were found among 151 Covid samples sent to a laboratory in West Bengal’s Kalyani for testing.

The Chief Minister said the Centre was monitoring the pandemic situation across the country, and all stakeholders agree with its prescribed methods.

Giving another instance of the changing guidelines, Deb cited how during the first wave, contact tracing would be done for anyone who tested positive for Covid-19 and the contacts would be quarantined for 15 days, but that is not the case anymore. Giving the example of an employee who handles appointments at his office, Deb said the individual tested positive but that didn’t stop the Chief Minister from talking to people. “During the first wave, it wasn’t the same. You had to go into quarantine for 15 days. Covid regulations are changing with time and with developing technology,” Deb added.

He also said the state’s healthcare team, ranging from ASHA workers to doctors, was working 24 hours with available infrastructure, and “it is showing good results”. “Our fatality rate is low, positivity rate is above 5 per cent but it is stable. Our government is working to bring it down to zero per cent and public cooperation is very important in this,” the CM said, appealing to people to stay safe, healthy, and follow safety procedures.

Biplab Deb also claimed the state’s Covid vaccination figures are the highest in the country due to the work done by its healthcare personnel. His claims come amid the Tripura High Court last week terming the state’s vaccination data ‘inaccurate’ and asking for a clarification.

The government, which had earlier claimed it achieved 98 per cent vaccination in the 45-plus age group and 80 per cent overall coverage, later retracted, saying there was a ‘slight variation’ in the figures. While Tripura stood by its claim of 98 per cent coverage in the 45-plus category, the overall vaccination figures are 78.43 per cent.

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