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Arunachal Pradesh governor BD Mishra, chief minister Pema Khandu held virtual meetings with legislators and other public leaders to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Addressing the virtual gathering of legislators, corporators, councilors and zilla parishad members, CM Khandu said the second wave of the virus has emerged as a real threat owing to its more infectious nature resulting in higher mortality rate than the first wave that had rocked the world last year.

The virtual meeting, chaired by Arunachal Pradesh governor BD Mishra, specifically concentrated on preparedness of five districts that have witnessed a spike in COVID-19 positive cases in recent times. These were Lower Dibang Valley, Papum Pare, Namsai, East Siang and West Kameng.

The governor, in his remarks, appreciated the concern and enthusiasm of the state government to deal with the pandemic. He too emphasized on ramping up COVID-19 tests and the vaccination drive.

CM Khandu emphasized on strict adherence to COVID-19 SOPs while encouraging all eligible people to get vaccinated. He dispensed rumours on ineffectiveness and side-effects of the vaccine and said that the vaccine being provided by the government is safe and effective against the virus.

“Till yesterday, we have vaccinated about 1.35 lakh people. Going by the rapid increase in COVID-19 positive cases, we have to get more and more people vaccinated. Legislators, corporators, councilors and panchayat members need to encourage people to go for vaccination besides creating awareness on compulsory wearing of masks, maintaining social distance and proper hygiene,” he said.

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Khandu also emphasized on more testing through Truenat and RT-PCR. He said testing, tracking and treatment has to be ramped up.

“By Monday the government, through the department of health and family welfare, will notify the guidelines to combat this second wave of corona virus,” he informed.

All entry points to the state will be on vigil and testing will be made compulsory for all people entering the state. Also, restrictions will be put on social gatherings and functions.

Several legislators and local body leaders urged the government to reduce the RT-PCR and RAT charges for the poor to get tested for the virus. Many also suggested that the vaccination be made available to people of all age groups. At present it is being offered only to people above 45 years of age.

Health minister Alo Libang sought the cooperation and support of all to arrest the spread of COVID-19 in the state. He said compared to other parts of the country, Arunachal Pradesh is in the safer side but people will have to be cautious.

“We successfully thwarted the virus last year. If we are all together is in this battle, we will again succeed,” he said.

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