Mizoram health minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana on Tuesday announced that the state will soon have a virology laboratory to test COVID19 cases.
Lalthangliana said a core committee was formed on March 23 for setting up Covid19 testing laboratory (Biosafety Level-3).
In this regard, joint efforts have been made by legislators and experts from Zoram Medical College (ZMC), Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Sciences (RIPANS), Mizoram University, Pachhunga University College (PUC) and Central Agriculture University in Aizawl, he said.
He said the government is in close contact with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for setting up the testing laboratory in the state.
“Unless there is big hurdle, I believe, Mizoram will have COVID19 testing centre very soon,” said the Mizoram health minister.
Lalthangliana said the state government has designated ZMC, which is a state referral hospital, as a Covid19 operational hospital.
ZMC is located at Falkawn, about 16 km from Aizawl.
He said Mizoram has not reported any new case of novel Coronavirus (COVID19) since March 25 when the first case was detected.
“So far, 44 samples have been tested, including the infected patient’s relatives, but 43 of them tested negative which is good news for the state,” he said.
According to the health minister, the state has not reported community transmission till date.
“Mizoram is expected to be safe from further spread of the virus if measure is taken to maintain strict vigilance at Vairengte check point on the state border with Assam border,” Lalthangliana said quoting experts.
The state government has completely sealed its border with neighbouring states and countries, except at Vairengte to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID19).
According to the minister, Mizoram is known to be the best performing state in the country in observing the nationwide lockdown.
“Owing to the massive efforts made by local level task forces, the state government has not faced any major problem in connection with violation of social distancing norms during the lockdown,” he said.
Meanwhile, state health secretary H. Lalengmawia said efforts are on to upgrade the TB laboratory at ZMC to be used as COVID19 testing lab.
He said the Centre has approved the laboratory to be used as COVID19 testing lab.
The health secretary said the government has been working hard to upgrade the laboratory by clubbing it with other machines from MZU and PUC.
More than 70 per cent of works has been completed and the laboratory is likely to become operational by Thursday, he added.