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The Arunachal Pradesh government has extended the ongoing lockdown in the Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) till August 03.

Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar said “the lockdown is being extended in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation and to contain the local transmission of virus in the region.”

Addressing a virtual press conference on Sunday, Kumar said more than 250 Covid-19 positive cases have been detected in the ICR in the past four weeks.

“Based upon the experience and information collected, the government, after due consultation with all the stakeholders has decided to extend the lockdown for another two weeks,” Kumar said.

The chief secretary said, during this period, the health department will carry out large scale Antigen tests and come up with modalities to contain the virus’s spread.

“Besides carrying out Antigen tests, around 20 teams, including health officials and data entry operators would carry out surveillance in the ICR in the next two weeks,” the chief secretary while seeking the support and cooperation of the citizens in this regard.

Antigen tests would also be carried out at all entry points of the region, he said.

Kumar further informed, in order to meet the bed requirements of Covid-19 patients, the MLA campus at Chimpu is being developed into a Covid-19 hospital while the pre-fabricated hospital at Doimukh would start to function by the end of this month.

The pre-fabricated hospital at Doimukh would also have intensive care unit (ICU) facilities, he said.

In regards to relaxations, the chief secretary said grocery shops at colonies and sectors would be allowed to open during the lockdown while home delivery of essential items would also be allowed.

The timings for opening and closing of shops would, however, be decided by the ICR deputy commissioner.

Kumar further informed that all essential medicines to treat Covid-19 patients are now available in the state.

The ICR that consists of Itanagar, the state capital, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa and Doimukh of Papum Pare district is already under lockdown since July 6.

With 216 active cases, the ICR has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the state.

The region, however, did witness the recovery of 97 patients on Saturday.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

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