Shocked over reports that Northeast could become next COVID-19 hotspot, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday convened an urgent meeting with Health Secretaries of all the Northeast States to discuss recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the region. 

“What is worrisome is that in the first wave of the pandemic, Northeast had remained relatively unaffected by COVID compared to many other States. Some States like Sikkim did not have a single corona positive case throughout the lockdown period. But this year, in the last two weeks, the Northeast States have suddenly started registering a steep rise in corona positive cases,” said Singh. 

The DoNER Minister said that he is in constant touch with all the eight Chief Ministers of North Eastern States and whatever help is sought from the States is being promptly provided from the Centre. 

He said that immediate resolve should be to find ways and means of ensuring that the rising graph of corona positive cases in different Northeastern States starts declining or immediately shows the flattening of the curve. 

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Jitendra Singh brought to the notice of the Health Secretaries of the respective states, the projections shown Tuesday morning which reflect the rising trend of positive cases in States like Tripura and Meghalaya, and also identified certain specific districts in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh which were showing a much higher affliction comparatively. 

The Minister advised for strict enforcement measures and extensive testing and contact tracing measures. He said, all measures should be taken for observing Covid-appropriate behaviour and management of micro containment zones, wherever it becomes necessary. 

Dr Singh informed that in coming weeks, the Centre will supply enough vaccines for all the North Eastern States and a schedule for the same is being given final touches in the Union Health Ministry. 

He asked the North Eastern States to send COVID and Health related proposals on a priority basis and promised for speedy disposal of such proposals at the Centre. He said, the Ministry of DoNER has convened a meeting on 2nd of June for acting on the proposals sent by the States. 

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He said, all proposals related to hospitals, oxygen plants, mobile testing vans and those related to fighting the pandemic would be accorded highest priority. 

The meeting was attended by Health Secretaries of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. DoNER secretary, NEC secretary, Joint Secretary in-charge of Northeast in the Union Health Ministry were also present in the meeting. 

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