Agartala, May 31 : The number of Covid-19 cases in Tripura increased to 271 with the detection of 17 fresh infections last night, out of a thousand samples collected from the returnees and their contacts. Tripura has not reported any Covid death so far and as many as 172 patients have recovered from the infection. According to reports, the state has registered 99 active cases, of which three are from other states and have returned to their homes.
As a result, there are a total of 96 Covid-19 patients under treatment in the state. However, Covid-19 test of 52 Kuwait returnees is underway along with around 2500 other people who came back from Delhi and Kerala. Meanwhile, the first special train from Kolkata is scheduled to arrive tonight. The officials stated that altogether 20 special trains from different parts of the country are scheduled to bring stranded people of Tripura and of them only 11 trains have reached so far. At least another nine trains will be reaching the state in the next one week and about 15000 people are expected to arrive in the state by rail and road in the next few days. Amid the huge rush of returnees, the state health department has been facing a serious shortage of staff to collect the samples at railway stations, inter-state border with Assam at Churaibari and with Mizoram at Damcherra and MBB airport at Agartala. Similarly, the laboratory designated to conduct Covid-19 tests at Agartala Govt Medical College is also facing problems in handling such a large number of samples.
Besides machines used in the tests, there is a shortage of manpower to run the system round the clock, officials stated. To handle the increased testing requirements, the state government has decided to engage private laboratory workers to help in the sample collection and testing. With its limited resources, the health department was embarrassed after Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb yesterday announced that all the returnees will be tested and kept under surveillance with heightened monitoring to contain the spread of Covid-19. According to the Chief Minister, samples of all Bangladesh and Maharashtra returnees are being tested. Besides, samples of a good number of Chennai returnees have also been tested. More equipment is coming to the state and the government is planning to conduct tests of all coming from outside, he said. (UNI)