The Tripura government has begun screening at all the land customs stations in the state to prevent the new mutant strain of Covid-19 from spreading.

Land custom offices offer transit, customs and immigration and cargo handling services for goods and passengers travelling between India and its neighbouring countries.

State education minister Ratan Lal Nath said the Union health ministry has directed the state government to follow a new standard operating procedure.

Also read: Indian government assures Covid-19 vaccines’ efficacy against mutant virus strains

The Tripura government has also initiated the process for purchasing a sequencing machine to test the various strains of Covid-19 that people in the state may be infected with.

So far 5 UK returnees to the state have been identified, of whom one has tested positive for Covid-19.

His samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune to confirm if he has been infected by the new variant strain of Covid-19 and the results are awaited.

However, people who came into his contact have been tested negative for the virus, Ratan Lal Nath said.

“Any positive patient found infected with the new mutant Covid-19 strain will be quarantined in the PRTI Women’s Hostel in Agartala,” the education minister said.

Meanwhile, the Tripura government is also making preparations for rolling out the Covid-19 vaccines that will be made available soon.

“We have so identified 44,521 health workers and 2263 session sites to carry out the vaccination programme in the state and the database has been uploaded in the government portal,” said Nath.

A total of 1429 health workers have been identified to administer the vaccine.

The state health department has already identified six-member medical teams for the vaccination process.

He said the state-level cold chain point will be at Gurkhabasti and all districts would have separate cold-chain points to store the vaccines.

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