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Mizoram health minister Dr R Lalthangliana on Wednesday said the State Government is making massive effort to install coronavirus testing laboratory (virology lab) at the newly established Zoram Medical College (ZMC).

He said that a detailed project report (DPR) has been submitted to National Centre for Disease Contol (NCDC) and Department of Health Research for installation of novel coronavirus testing lab.

“The State Government is making massive effort to install virology laboratory at ZMC under the initiative of chief minister Zoramthanga,” Lalthangliana told a news conference.

Although the State Government did not have problem in procuring the testing laboratory, it faces inconvenience because Biosafety level 3 laboratory and other important equipments have to be installed along with the coronavirus testing laboratory, he said.

According to the health minister, at least seven blood samples have been sent to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital and six of them tested negative for coronavirus while result of one sample is awaited.

He said that the ZMC, which is also state referral hospital at Falkawn near Aizawl has been designated as state level isolation hospital for the virus.

He said that the state government is expediting screening along the inter-state and international borders, including Lengpui airport.

The minister also said that the state government has a stock of 342 personal protective equipment kits, 993 N-95 masks, 1,300 triple-layer masks, 415 viral transport mediums, 49 thermocol boxes and 100 pairs of surgical gloves.

He said that the government would display public hoarding to aware public about coronavirus.

State chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said that the state government encouraged social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

On banning of worship service, he said the government prefers the ban thought it give free hand to respective churches on the matter, he said.

Chuaungo asked people to refrain from panic creation and to not pay attention to rumours.

He said that any information related to coronavirus should not be taken as authentic unless it is from the state Health department.

He added that the State Government has allowed only transportation of essential commodities from Myanmar.

State health principal director Dr F Lallianhlira said at least 163 people have been quarantined so far of which eight have been discharged on completion of 14 days observation period.

He said that 41,761 people have been screened till Wednesday.

With three on Wednesday, at least 10 samples have been collected for test, he added.

Meanwhile, the state Health department was facing financial issue due to the government failure to give sanction.

“The department is facing inconvenience in its preventive measure against coronavirus because the government did not provide money for the purpose,” a top health official said on condition of anonymity.

He said that the government did not sanction fund from the state’s budget due to which the department faced inconvenience in expediting preventive measure.

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