Opposition Congress on Thursday blamed the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga for allegedly failing to set up a Biosafety Level-3 laboratory for installing RT-PCR machines within six months since the first Covid-19 case was reported in late March.

Speaking to reporters in Aizawl, Congress legislator from Hachhek constituency in Mamit district Lalrindika Ralte, said that the state government has installed and is running RT-PCR machines for Covid-19 test at District TB Centre in Falkawn, about 16 km from Aizawl since April 7.

He said that RT-PCR machines were installed in close proximity to TB patient ward and TB office which is medically unsafe for the patients.

The Congress leader said that the usage of TB centre as Covid-19 testing centre has greatly affected TB patients in the state and as a result the TB centre has failed to obtain validation from the Central TB division.

According to Ralte, at least 1,626 people were diagnosed with TB in 2019 and another 687 people within 6 months from January to June this year.

Accusing the government of not taking concrete steps to set up BSL-3 laboratory, he said that the Nagaland government was able to set up a similar laboratory within 3 months.

The legislator also asked the state government to immediately set up BSL-3 laboratory to conduct Covid-19 test.

Officials could not be contacted on the issue.

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