Pema Khandu
Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu during a meeting on COVID19 situation. Image credit - Northeast Now

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Friday said Arunachal Pradesh should be ready to face any eventuality taking into consideration the surge in COVID19 cases in the country, especially in neighbouring state, Assam.

“It would be failure of the state government if the spread of the disease is not contained,” Khandu said while chairing a review meeting in Tawang on COVID19 preparedness of the district.

“It is in such likelihood that the purpose of the preparedness level in the state should be on 100 per cent prevention of the spread of COVID19 infection as and when any positive case arises,” the chief minister said.

Khandu said adequate awareness must be generated to prevent spread of panic and rumours if any positive case arises.

He urged for use of information, education, and communication campaign (IEC ) and all other means of public communication to spread awareness so that any infected person is not ostracized.

Speaking on the initiatives of the state government in health sector, Khandu said National Epidemiological Surveillance of Infectious Diseases and North East Council funds will be used 100 per cent for upgrading the health sector.

He informed that a long-term policy for robust infrastructure and facilities for all 25 district hospitals is being rolled out with proposed allocation of Rs 350 crore.

Khandu also said 50 per cent of MLA local area development funds can now be used for fighting COVID19.

The chief minister said the state government has also launched its exercise to define its own zones, containment plan and standard operating procedures for COVID19, which would be completed soon.

On reviving the state’s economy, Khandu said priority will be given to agriculture and horticulture activities.

He said government will provide farmers with fencing, seeds for agri and horti crops as well provide support for marketing the farm produce.

Khandu said the Arunachal Pradesh Marketing Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) have been activated in all the districts and it has been doing commendable job for finding markets for the farmers.

Army and central paramilitary forces stationed in the state are also a big market for the farmers for which the state government will soon sit with the officials of the respective forces to work out the modalities, he added.


Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: