Aerial view of Zoram Medical College, earlier named as Mizoram Institute of Medical education and Research (MIMER)

Making a record time of barely eight days to set up COVID-19 testing laboratory, Mizoram has began testing of samples for novel coronavirus at Zoram Medical College (ZMC) on Tuesday, health minister Dr R Lalthangliana said.

He said 14 nasopharyngeal swab of doctors, nurses and health workers, who are looking after COVID-19 infected patient and sample of a suspected patient (low risk) have been tested at the laboratory for the first time in the State.

He said that 11 out 15 samples have tested negative, while the rest four will be out on Wednesday.

The minister expressed happiness over the commencement of sample testing for Covid-19 on the occasion of world health day, which fall on Tuesday.

Also read: Mizoram govt likely to take final decision on extension of lockdown by weekend

So far, Mizoram has reported only one confirmed case of novel coronavirus after a 50-year-old man, who had travel history to Netherlands, tested positive on March 25.

According to Lalthangliana, the patient is undergoing treatment at ZMC and he is stable.

He said that the State Government also procured 1,000 testing kits from Assam’s Dibrugarh.

The health minister also said that the State Government has sounded high alert ‘along the state border with Assam and Tripura due to the spike in novel coronavirus cases in those neighbouring states.

Security has also been beefed and strict vigilance stepped up along inter-state borders to prevent intrusion, he added.

Assam and Tripura have reported 28 and one confirmed cases of novel coronavirus respectively till filing of this report.

State nodal officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme and epidemiologist Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma said that 58 samples have been tested and all of them barring one have tested negative till Monday.

He said that the government also conducted stricter screening of truck drivers, who transported essential commodities and were instructed to hold anywhere till they reach their destination.

Mizoram has completely sealed all its borders with neighbouring states and countries except at Vairengte on the Mizoram-Assam border, where entry is opened for essential commodities.

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