Arunachal CM Pema Khandu during the meeting with IMA on Monday. Image: Northeast Now
Arunachal CM Pema Khandu during the meeting with IMA on Monday. Image: Northeast Now

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support in procuring diagnostic machines such as TrueNat for Arunachal Pradesh for carrying out faster and effective ways of COVID-19 testing.

Khandu’s request came during an interaction with the prime minister through video conferencing. The PM interacted with chief ministers of all states on the day.

Chief Minister Khandu, later in a tweet, informed, “Since Arunachal has mandated testing of all personnel entering the state, I request PM @narendramodi Ji to support for TrueNat testing machine approved by @ICMRDELHI for speedy #coronavirus test. The present RT-PCR lab in the state is getting overwhelmed as returnees increases.”

The TrueNat machine yields the result in less than an hour if it is negative, and in the case of a positive case, it requires cross-checking with the other method.

Earlier on the day, the chief minister had a meeting with the members of the state unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA-AP) to discuss on evolving better strategies to fight novel coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Besides discussing the procurement of TrueNat, the members present recommended for rapid antibody tests as the main tool for mass screening and surveillance as interstate travellers bound to increase in coming days.

The house felt that use of cheaper, cost-effective and quick rapid antibody test being viable to be installed in districts since it also involved less manpower.

The meeting also pitched for robust health policy in the state that would give more teeth in the fight against the virus and for better health services observing that pandemic has exposed many loopholes in the health system.

It also discussed for a separate cadre for the health sector for improved health environment.

The meeting further observed that home quarantine is not being properly adhered to and called for compulsory 14 days quarantine in government or paid quarantine facilities.

It mentioned that even after testing of negative, the interstate returnees must strictly follow quarantine protocols.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

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