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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tripura announces night curfew to tackle Covid-19 surge

The health department report suggests that the state now has an overall 5% positivity rate, while the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) has a 16.95% positivity rate.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: January 9, 2022 9:30:26 pm
TripuraA woman takes the COVID-19 vaccine at Gobindabari village in Chawmanu, near Agartala. (Photo: PTI)

The Tripura government has decided to impose night curfew in the state from Monday in the wake of a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases.

Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat here on Sunday evening, Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury said health experts have predicted that Tripura might witness a peak in Covid-19 cases in January and February and he appealed to people to maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour to tackle the crisis.

Therefore, as a precautionary measure, the state cabinet has decided that night curfew will be in force from 9pm till 5am the next morning for 10 days starting Monday, he said.

“We will have the night curfew for 10 days till January 20. We will then review daily positivity rates and other details. Depending on the gravity of the situation, we might reduce or increase the period of night curfew later,” the minister added.

The health department report suggests that the state now has an overall 5% positivity rate, while the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) has a 16.95% positivity rate.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 testing has started at MBB Airport, Churaibari inter-state check-post, Akhaura Integrated Check Post, railway stations and bus depots.

As per revised Covid-19 guidelines, more than 100 people will not be allowed inside marriage halls at a time, and restaurants and shopping malls will have to run on one-third staff strength. Moreover, public rallies have been banned.

The minister assured the state government is prepared to combat the pandemic and said the health department has got 1,728 oxygen concentrators, 2,263 oxygen cylinders, 2,391 pulse oximeters and 193 ventilators in stock. In case of any urgency, the government is prepared to increase preparedness, he said.

As per the latest health department data, 689 Covid-19 cases were registered in the last two days in Tripura.

Chowdhury appealed to people to stay “highly cautious” in January and February against Covid-19 pandemic, saying experts have suggested that cases might exceed 32,000 in the state during the ongoing third wave, with 1,617 cases in severe category.

The minister also said 3,880 children are likely to contract Covid-19 during the third wave as per expert projections, out of which 197 might be severe cases.

Asked about the steps taken to protect children, Chowdhury said the state government has set up 216 ICU facility-enabled beds for children in Agartala. In addition, at least 50 beds would be kept ready with all facilities in each district to avoid rush of Covid-19 patients to Agartala.

Covid-19 call centres and grievance-redressal cells will start functioning in all eight districts of the state.

The minister asked anyone coming from outside Tripura through railways, airport, inter-state check-post or border check-posts to co-operate with healthcare personnel and to get tested.

He also appealed to people to use face masks, sanitizers and maintain social distancing.

Meanwhile, schools where exams are being held would continue conducting those examinations but all other schools would be shut down starting Monday.

State Covid surveillance officer Dr Dip Debbarma said there is no dearth of ambulances to transport virus patients. All district magistrates have also been instructed to procure ambulances as per requirement from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

The state government currently has 2,562 beds for Covid-19 patients. Among these, 700 beds were kept for serious patients.

In West Tripura district, which has the maximum number of Covid-19 cases, 330 beds for Covid-19 patients have been readied.

ICA minister Sushanta Chowdhury also said that Tripura has 22 functional oxygen plants.

All relevant medicines are in stock, he said, adding that 48,21,906 doses of Covid-19 vaccines were provided to people in the state. This figure includes 36.1% of 2.13 lakh eligible children between 15-18 years of age.

In order to handle the crisis, the health department has decided to hire 500-700 healthcare and paramedic personnel on an emergency basis.

“We have decided to hire health professionals to ensure that public health services don’t get hampered,” the minister said.

As per health department data, 85,554 people in the state have tested positive since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Among them, 84,215 patients had recovered and 827 died while a few others were active cases.

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