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Mizoram to Open its Border, Lengpui Airport Thrice a Week from Aug 24 Due to Covid-19 Surge

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Image for Representation

Mizoram has sealed international and inter-state borders barring a few entry points, which were opened for vehicles carrying goods, in March to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

The Mizoram government will open its border with Assam and Tripura besides the state's lone Lengpui airport only thrice a week from August 24 to regulate movement of people following a spike in Covid-19 cases, a home department official said on Thursday.

The order to this effect was issued by state chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, who is also chairman of executive committee of State Disaster Management Authority, on Wednesday, the official said. The order stated that Lengpui airport and two entry points- at Kanhmun on the Mizoram-Tripura border and Vairengteon the state's border with Assam – will be open only on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for entry of people by flights and road transportation starting from August 24 until further order.

Mizoram has sealed international and inter-state borders barring a few entry points, which were opened for vehicles carrying goods, in March to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus. Lengpui airport and inter-state border at Vairengte and Kanhmun were opened for movement of people since June,according to officials.

Among the selected airports in the country having tabletop runways, Lengpui airport is connected by flights to Kolkata, Guwahati and Imphal. The state prohibited entry of trucks and other vehicles carrying goods barring essential commodities into the state since August 7 after a sizeable number of truck drivers and their helpers coming from outside tested positive for Covid-19.

According to the health department, at least 129 truckers and handymen coming from outside the state have been diagnosed with the virus till the date. Mizoram on Thursday reported 14 new Covid-19 cases, including 12 truckers. The government latest order said that the surge in inter-state movement of people due to resumption of economic and livelihood activities has resulted in the spike of COVID-19 positive cases within the state recently.

"As the quarantine and healthcare facilities of the state are currently overburdened by the influx of people and the rising positive cases of COVID-19, it is felt as necessary to regulate inter-state movement of people so as to calibrate it with the coping capacity of the quarantine and healthcare facilities of the state," the order said.

The state's Covid-19 tally now stands at 874, including 148 females. There are 472 active patients, while a total of 402 people have already recovered. Meanwhile, the state government extended complete lockdown imposed in the state capital to facilitate extensive tracing and testing of people till 4.30 am of August 24.

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