Aizawl, August 13: Mizoram government will purchase 10,000 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits to boost the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity.

In a meeting on Wednesday, Chief Minister Zoramthanga addressed top officials, NGOs, churches and doctors about the purchase of the COVID RAT kits.

He informed that precautionary and preventive measures shall have to be taken to prevent the community transmission of the virus and ensure people’s safety amid the pandemic situation prevailing in the state.

Zoramthanga went on to talk about maintaining social distancing whenever there is a possibility of people gathering. It was also agreed in the meeting to execute all the safety protocols as mentioned by government guidelines with more vigilance. According to a government order issued on July 31, social gatherings like marriages and funerals can not have more than 50 attendees. Any such occasion shall have to be held in a church or a community hall, not private residences so as to ensure that social distancing and safety guidelines are being maintained. The traditional congregational service to mourn the death (“Zaikhawm“) will not be held in funerals.

The meeting also reached a decision to frame the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for frontline workers with utmost importance and using building infrastructures owned by churches as care centres or hospitals to treat infected patients in order to ease the crunch in government facilities in case there is a community spread.

Health Minister, Dr R. Lalthangliana also attended the meeting. With 25 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, the state’s caseload rises to 648 with 318 active cases. 330 people have already recovered.

Meanwhile, the Mizoram government has declared compulsory Rapid Antigen Tests to be conducted before entering the state after 53 trucks drivers and their helpers who came from outside were tested positive.

According to the state health department, 2.60% of the people have tested positive from 24,895 samples that have been collected till now. The recovery rate is 50.91% and the number of active patients is at 49% of the total cases. The first case was reported on May 24 and there have been no deaths reported so far.