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Mizoram currently has just one COVID-19 hospital. (File)Aizawl: A four-member central team, led by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) consultant-epidemiologist Dr Vinita Gupta, arrived in Aizawl on Tuesday to assess the COVID-19 situation, amid the surge in infections in the state, an official statement in Aizawl said.Shortly after the team’s arrival in the state capital on Tuesday, its members held a meeting with officials of State Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), chief medical officers (CMOs) of Aizawl East and Aizawl West and discussed ways to combat the situation.The team will hold another virtual meeting with chief medical officers of various districts on Wednesday to review the measures being taken to control the spread of the disease across the state, the statement said.The members of the central team will also visit COVID-19 care facilities in Aizawl West during the day.Mizoram continues to register a spike in coronavirus cases with 1,681 new infections reported on Tuesday, which pushed the state’s tally to 99,856, a health department official said.The death count rose to 331 as five more people succumbed to the infection, he said.The single-day positivity rate stood at 18 per cent as the fresh cases were detected from 9,331 sample tests.At least 322 children were among the newly infected people, he said.Meanwhile, a state-level expert team on COVID-19 management, which was formed in September, underlined that more attention has to be paid to symptomatic patients, high-risk groups such as pregnant women and the elderly with comorbid conditions.The team convener, Dr F Lallianhlira, who is also principal director of state health department, told a press meet on Tuesday that a report has been submitted to the state government, seeking revision of standard operating procedure (SOP) for COVID-19 test and home isolation, among other suggestions.The expert team has also recommended strengthening of COVID-19 care facilities in the state and establishment of a dedicated wing in all district hospitals, he said.Mizoram currently has just one COVID-19 hospital, the Zoram Medical College (ZMC), with 341 beds including 34 in ICU, and around 18 dedicated health centres (DCHCs).A ten-day campaign to sensitise people about the importance of using face mask and sanitiser is likely to be organised from October 11, Lallianhlira added.Opposition Congress, during the day, staged a demonstration in Aizawl, blaming the state government for the COVID-19 situation in Mizoram.The protesters sought setting up of a COVID-19 designated hospital in all the districts, and arrangement of relief for the poor amid the pandemic.They also demanded health minister Dr R Lalthangliana’s resignation.Addressing an event, Congress Legislature Party leader Zodintluanga Ralte alleged that the ruling Mizo National Front government, headed by Chief Minister Zoramthanga, has “completely failed to control the rising COVID-19 cases” in the state.He held Dr Lalthangliana and health and family welfare board senior member Dr ZR Thiamsanga, who is also chairman of medical operational team of COVID-19, responsible for the current state of affairs in Mizoram.”I deeply regret the fact that over 300 people lost their lives due to COVID-19. Several residents are facing livelihood crisis due to the inefficiency of the health minister and medical operational team chairman,” Mr Ralte added.

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