Mizoram on Thursday sounded an alert for the second wave of novel coronavirus as the Northeastern state registered a spurt in COVID-19 cases.

State spokesperson on COVID-19, Pachuau Lalmalsawma said in a statement that the state government has sounded the alert for the second time.

“Considering the present COVID-19 scenario in Mizoram, there is a high chance of being in a dangerous position. We are sounding COVID-19 alert for the second time,” said Lalmalsawma who is also the state nodal officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.

Mizoram Health Minister R Lalthangliana said that Mizoram is in precarious and vulnerable condition as the state is witnessing the second wave of COVID-19.

If the present situation (increase in COVID-19 cases) continues it can be hazardous for the state. Unless preventive measures are taken in time, the situation can go from bad to worse, the health minister told PTI on Thursday.

He said that the state government will step up vigil at all entry points along the inter-state and international borders and will soon issue a new guideline.

After a dip in novel coronavirus spread for a brief period, Mizoram began to register a spike in COVID-19 cases since the last week of March.

In the past one week, the state has registered 46 positive cases of whom 34 are returnees from other states, while five had direct contact with positive patients.

However, it is yet to be ascertained how seven patients contracted the virus.

Lalthangliana said that the state government is mulling introducing RT-PCR replacing rapid antigen test at Lengpui airport as some returnees, who tested negative on their arrival, later developed the coronavirus symptoms and were eventually found to be infected by the virus.

We will step up vigil at Lengpui airport and other entry points along the inter-state and international borders as the majority of the recent COVID-19 cases comprised of the returnees, he said.

Rapid antigen tests will be conducted at Lengpui airport and other entry points along the inter-state or international borders to screen returnees.

The health minister stressed on the need to be cautious and urged the people to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocol.

We will focus more on preventive measures instead of spending on treatment. We cant remain complacent as the new variant is more dangerous, Lalthangliana said.

So far the state has not reported any new strains of COVID-19, according to the health minister.

He said that at least 200 samples were sent outside the state for analysis.

Lalthangliana had in an interaction Wednesday with leaders of churches, NGOs, village council association and Aizawl local council association asked them to put more efforts to check the spread of the contagion.

He said that residents of Aizawl district should be more vigilant as about 80 per cent of the states total Covid-19 cases were reported from the district.

Mizoram on Thursday reported 14 new cases, which is the highest single-day spike in nearly three months since January 10, health department spokesperson said.

The total coronavirus cases in the state now stand at 4,522, of which 57 are active.

With the recovery of three persons on Thursday, as many as 4,454 people have recovered from the infection so far, the spokesperson added. PTI