Mizoram Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana on Thursday said the state government is ramping up facilities to deal with the second wave of the pandemic.

The health minister on Thursday convened a meeting with officials, churches, doctors and community leaders to review the prevailing coronavirus situation in the state.

In the meeting, he told that the state is facing a shortage of hospitals and COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCs) due to a spurt in coronavirus cases.

“The utmost need now is to ramp up our facilities as the existing CCCs and Zoram Medical College (ZMC) are not enough to accommodate COVID-19 patients,” he said.

According to the health minister, Aizawl district alone has 433 active cases now, which is about 76 per cent of the total number of active cases in the state.

In the wake of the evolving situation concerning the spread of the disease, screening for COVID-19 will be beefed up at Lengpui airport near Aizawl, Vairengte on the Mizoram- Assam border and other entry points, the minister said.

A consignment of 1 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine arrived in the state on Wednesday and effort is on to procure more vaccines, he said.

The meeting decided to hold a separate meeting with church authorities and appeal to them to offer their halls to the state government to be used as COVID-19 Care Centres.

While symptomatic patients are treated at ZMC, asymptomatic patients are kept under observation at COVID-19 Care Centres in Mizoram.

Initially, ZMC was used as a COVID-19 dedicated hospital but the states lone medical college was opened to general patients when Mizoram’s COVID-19 curve started showing a downward trend a few months ago.

Meanwhile, ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) MLA and state health and family welfare board chairman Dr Z R Thiamsanga said, the government is once again mulling to designate ZMC as a dedicated COVID-19 hospital.

The state has about 36 COVID-19 Care Centres which can accommodate over 2,000 patients.

“We are planning to reactivate all the CCCs as they had become non-functional,” he said.

Mizoram on Thursday reported 73 COVID-19 cases, pushing the states coronavirus caseload to 5,158.

The state now has 546 active cases while 4,600 people have recovered from the infection.