The Tripura government has decided to impose a night curfew on the state from Monday following a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases.
Speaking to reporters at the secretariat of state here on Sunday evening, Tripura’s Minister of Information and Cultural Affairs, Sushanta Chowdhury, said health experts had predicted that Tripura could witness a spike in Covid-19 cases in the United States. January and February and appealed to the people to maintain the adequacy of Covid-19. behavior to deal with the crisis.
Therefore, as a precautionary measure, the state cabinet has decided that the night curfew will be in effect from 9pm until 5am the next morning for 10 days from Monday, he said.
“We will have the night curfew for 10 days until January 20. Then we will review the daily positivity rates and other details. Depending on the severity of the situation, we may reduce or increase the night curfew period later.” the minister added.
The health department report suggests that the state now has an overall positivity rate of 5%, while the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) has a positivity rate of 16.95%.
Meanwhile, testing of Covid-19 has begun at MBB Airport, Churaibari Interstate Control, Akhaura Integrated Control, Railway Stations and Bus Depots.
According to the revised Covid-19 guidelines, no more than 100 people will be allowed inside double rooms at a time, and restaurants and malls will have to operate with a third of the staff. In addition, public rallies have been banned.
The minister assured that the state government is ready to fight the pandemic and said that the health department has in stock 1,728 oxygen concentrators, 2,263 oxygen cylinders, 2,391 dust oximeters and 193 fans. In case of emergency, the government is willing to increase preparedness, he said.
According to the latest data from the health department, 689 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the last two days in Tripura.
Chowdhury called on people to remain “very cautious” in January and February against the Covid-19 pandemic, saying experts have suggested that cases could exceed 32,000 in the state during the third wave in course, with 1,617 cases in serious category.
The minister also said that 3,880 children are likely to contract Covid-19 during the third wave according to expert projections, of which 197 could be serious cases.
Asked about measures taken to protect children, Chowdhury said the state government has set up 216 enabled beds for children’s ICU facilities in Agartala. In addition, at least 50 beds would be kept ready with all facilities in each district to prevent the rush of Covid-19 patients to Agartala.
Covid-19 call centers and complaint resolution cells will begin operating in all eight districts of the state.
The minister asked anyone coming from outside Tripura through the railways, airport, interstate checkpoints or border checkpoints to cooperate with the medical staff and be tested.
He also called on people to wear masks, disinfectants and maintain social distance.
In the meantime, exam schools will continue to take these exams, but all other schools will be closed from Monday.
Covid’s state surveillance officer, Dr Dip Debbarma, said there was no shortage of ambulances to transport patients with the virus. All district magistrates have also been instructed to purchase ambulances as required by the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
The state government currently has 2,562 beds for patients with Covid-19. Of these, 700 beds were maintained for severe patients.
In the West Tripura district, which has the highest number of Covid-19 cases, 330 beds have been prepared for patients with Covid-19.
ICA Minister Sushanta Chowdhury also said Tripura has 22 functional oxygen plants.
All relevant drugs are in stock, he said, adding that 48,21,906 doses of Covid-19 vaccine were provided to people in the state. This figure includes 36.1% of the 2.13 lakh eligible children aged 15-18.
To deal with the crisis, the health department has decided to hire between 500 and 700 emergency medical staff and paramedics.
“We have decided to hire health professionals to ensure that public health services are not hampered,” the minister said.
According to the health department, 85,554 people in the state have tested positive since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Among them, 84,215 patients had recovered and 827 died, while some others were active cases.