GUWAHATI: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh, on Tuesday, convened an urgent meeting to discuss the recent COVID surge in the northeast.
The meeting was attended by the health secretaries of all the eight northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland as well as Union Secretary Ministry of North East, Secretary North Eastern Council and Joint Secretary in charge Northeast in the Ministry of Health.
Apprehending that some sections of northeast may become the next COVID hotspot, Singh said, “What is worrisome is that in the last wave of the pandemic. Though the northeast had remained relatively unaffected by COVID compared to many other states last year, cases have surged in the last two weeks. The immediate resolve should be to find ways and means of ensuring that the rising graph of corona positive cases in different northeastern states starts declining or immediately shows the flattening of the curve.”
The minister advised strict enforcement measures and extensive testing and contact tracing measures.
He informed that in the coming weeks, the Centre will supply enough vaccines for all the northeastern states and a schedule for the same is being given final touches in the Union Health Ministry.
He asked the NE states to send COVID and health-related proposals on a priority basis and promised for speedy disposal of such proposals at the Centre.
He said, the Ministry of DoNER has convened a meeting on June 2 for acting on the proposals sent by the states, but so far only four states have sent such proposals. He asked other states also to firm up their request on an urgent basis.
He said all proposals related to hospitals, oxygen plants, mobile testing vans and those related to fighting the pandemic would be accorded the highest priority.