A day after opposition Congress blamed chief minister Zoramthanga over his alleged remarks on the cause of Covid-19 spike in the state, the state government on Friday said the chief minister has been misquoted over the influx of refugees from Myanmar.
CM Zoramthanga recently spoke on Myanmar refugees in a virtual meeting of Prime Minister and chief ministers of Northeast states.
Chief Minister Office (CMO) in a statement on Friday said that a section of media has misquoted Zoramthanga as saying that the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state is due to the constant influx of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
“The chief minister’s remarks over Myanmar refugees were totally misconstrued by media outlets, which quoted him out of the context,” the statement said.
It said that the chief minister did not attribute the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state to influx of people from neighbouring countries.
“Nowhere was there in the Chief Minister’s remarks that the rise in COVID cases was due to the influx of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh,” the statement asserted.
The chief minister’s remarks, which appeared in a section of media was therefore misleading and baseless, it said.
Zoramthanga had mentioned that Mizoram is grappling with multiple problems- the Covid-19 pandemic, influx of people from Myanmar and outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), which has strained the financial resources of the state, the statement said.
He had said that thousands of Mizos from Myanmar fled their country to seek refuge in Mizoram following the military coup in the neighbouring country in February this year.
“Mizoram not only has to fight the pandemic with its limited resources but also has to look after the people from Myanmar and provide them food, shelter and medicines as it can’t deny shelter to them because the Chin communities from Myanmar share ethnic ties with the Mizos,” Zoramthanga was quoted as saying by the official release.
The chief minister had sought assistance from the PM to provide humanitarian relief to the Myanmar people, the release said.
He had also mention about the losses caused to the pig farmers by the outbreak of ASF, which currently affected almost the entire state, the release added.