Tripura’s Covid-19 death rate highest in Northeast region, says govt report

Hindustan Times, Agartala | ByPriyanka Deb Barman| Edited y Sabir Hussain
Sep 20, 2020 06:23 PM IST

Among the eight districts in Tripura, West district is the worst affected in terms of fresh Covid-19 cases and casualties, according to the state .government’s latest report.

Tripura, the smallest northeastern state, has the highest Covid-19 death rate in the region, according to the latest data released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

A worker arranges beds at a quarantine centre in an indoor international fair complex in Agartala.(ANI FILE PHOTO)
A worker arranges beds at a quarantine centre in an indoor international fair complex in Agartala.(ANI FILE PHOTO)

According to the data, Sikkim recorded 1.03% death rate followed by Meghalaya with 0.79%, Manipur (0.63%), Assam (0.35%), Nagaland (0.28%), Arunachal Pradesh (0.18%) while Mizoram has no death so far.

The fatality rate of Tripura, as per latest data shared by the state government, is 1.11%.

Out of Tripura’s Covid-19 tally of 21,507, the death toll stands at 239. Two other patients died by suicide. The positivity rate in the state stands at 6.09% compared to the national positivity rate (8.01%) while the recovery rate is 68.83%. The state is conducting 88,334 tests per million, according to the state government’s data.

Among the eight districts, West district is the worst affected in terms of fresh Covid-19 cases and deaths, according to the latest report of the state government. Agartala that falls in the West District has 70% of the positive cases.

Barely a week ago, an analysis by the West District administration found that massive social functions including more than 3,000 wedding ceremonies, religious festivals and political rallies between August 9 and August 26 emerged were the main reasons for the spurt of Covid-19 cases in the district.

“People did not maintain social distancing and that’s the reason for surge in the coronavirus cases in the district and mainly in Agartala,” West district magistrate Dr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav said earlier.

After identifying ten different wards of Agartala Municipal Corporation with 70 per cent of Covid-19 positive cases, the administration set up testing centres in these wards. The testing centres conduct 400-700 tests each day in these places out of which 20-30% turn out to be positive cases, officials said.

“In order to prevent deaths, we have focused on conducting tests extensively. We have also started satellite mapping of the positive cases to deal with the situation. We also found that delay in admission of patients in the hospital resulted in their death and we urge people that if they have Covid symptoms, to contact hospital or health centres immediately,” said Yadav.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has already asked every district hospital to provide treatment to the Covid-9 patients instead of shifting them to Agartala. The state also constituted a special corona team comprising ten medical officers and another ten IAS officers to monitor the situation.

A three-member central team which toured different parts of the state, found violation of social distancing norms, improper use of masks and late admission of patients to hospital as the main reasons for the rise in Covid-19 cases and casualties. They have already submitted their reports to the government.

After getting feedback from the central team, the government framed ‘The Tripura Epidemic Disease Covid-19 Regulations, 2020’ to make mandatory wearing of masks and imposed a fine of 200 on the violators. A subsequent offence will cost the violator 400.

The government which conducted a two-day Mask Enforcement Drive that ended on Saturday, is yet to share the figure of violators and the amount of fine collected.

According to the data from March 24 to September 14, a total 10,560 people were arrested for violating lockdown guidelines and curfew and the police collected an amount of Rs. 2.57 crore as fine.

In the meantime, the state-run Govind Ballabh Pant (GBP) hospital, the only dedicated Covid hospital in Agartala has come under fire over poor health services for Covid-19 patients after videos and images of bodies of patients lying on the hospital floor became viral on social media.

After such reports surfaced in media, the Tripura High Court on September 11 asked the state to submit an affidavit on total number of Covid-19 cases, availability of medical and paramedical staff and doctors and necessary infrastructures in the Covid care centres, ways of communication between patients and their relatives, fund allocation to upgrade the government Covid care centres etc.

After the government submitted its affidavit on September 18, the court again asked for further details on the state’s Covid-19 containment efforts and also the central team’s report by September 28.

The court also suggested setting up a special enquiry cell to manage communication between Covid-19 patients and their relatives including a complaints and suggestion centre at the GBP hospital.

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