State reports 8 new Covid-19 cases, GoAP seeks to vaccinate 25% of population

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 3 Apr: With eight new Covid-19 cases reported in the state till Saturday, there is growing concern regarding the resurgence of coronavirus infection in the state.

Already the ongoing second wave of Covid-19 across India has increased the nationwide tally of infections to over 1.23 crore. On Saturday, 89,129 new Covid-19 cases were recorded, which is the highest daily rise in around six-and-a-half months.

Presently, the state’s health department is mostly carrying out rapid antigen tests (RAT) to detect possible cases of infection. There is, however, a lesser number of RT-PCR and TrueNat tests being carried out in the state.

Officials in the health department claim that people are not coming forward to take the RT-PCR and TrueNat tests because of two main reasons: firstly, RAT is a quicker method of detection as it takes only an instant, while RT-PCR and TrueNat tests take a whole day to produce the result. The second reason for people not opting for the latter testing method is its cost. The rate of carrying out an RT-PCR and TrueNat test in our state is Rs 1,000.

Speaking to this daily, Health Secretary P Parthiban on Saturday informed that there has been a public demand for reducing RT-PCR and TrueNat tests, and that the department has also proposed the same to the state government.

“By next week, the government will announce the new reduced rates for the same,” he added.

When asked about the measures the state government has initiated to check a possible second wave of infection in the state, the health secretary stated that the department has been equipping the Covid-19 staffers and making sure that there are enough oxygen cylinders available at the hospitals.

“We are also going to review the Covid department by Monday,” he said.

Further, responding to the query if the state government is planning to resume testing at the state’s various check gates in view of the increase in Covid-19 cases, Parthiban said that the issue has not been decided till now.

“The health department’s focus is more on increasing the vaccination drive, so that we can ensure 25 percent of our population is vaccinated as early as possible,” he informed.

Meanwhile, according to the state’s health department’s data till Friday, about 70,773 beneficiaries, including healthcare and frontline workers, 45 to 60 years old people with comorbidities and people above 60 years have so far received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 21,675 have received its second dose.