Agartala/Aizawl/Guwahati, Sep 18 : Tripura figures in the bottom of Covid-19 death rate, while six of the eight northeastern states' recovery rates are less than the national average of 78.86 per cent, Union Health ministry data revealed on Friday.
According to the data released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Tripura topped the death ratio among the eight northeastern states in terms of Covid-19 cases with 1.09 per cent, followed by Sikkim (0.97 per cent), Meghalaya (0.71), Manipur (0.60), Assam (0.35), Nagaland (0.28) and Arunachal Pradesh (0.19 per cent).
Mizoram is the only state where no people have died so far due to novel coronavirus.
According to the health officials in Aizawl, Mizoram so far reported 1,534 positive cases, including 274 women, while 949 patients have recovered from Covid-19.
According to the health officials, including Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, after the Central government withdrew travel restrictions in May, over 5 lakh natives of northeastern states returned to their homes from different parts of the country, causing a rise in Covid-19 cases in the northeast.
As per the records of the MoHFW, in the northeastern region, Meghalaya's recovery rate is the lowest at 53.76 per cent, followed by Mizoram (61.86 per cent), Tripura (64.72 per cent), Manipur (77.56 per cent), Nagaland (77.23 per cent) and Arunachal Pradesh (72.50 per cent).
Assam (80.89 per cent) and Sikkim (78.67 per cent) are the two northeastern states, which have recovery rates above or almost similar to the national average of 78.86 per cent.
Even though the mortality rate is much lower than the national average of 1.62 per cent, 528 people, including 18 policemen, have succumbed to Covid-19 in Assam, where coronavirus cases have gone up to 1,50,349 with 1,21,610 recoveries.
Speeding up the testing of samples, Assam till Thursday night tested 28,35,842 samples.
Responding to Tripura government's requests, the Home Ministry has sent a three-member Central team headed by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) consultant epidemiologist Daisy Panna to study the rising Covid-19 cases in Tripura, where till Thursday night 20,700 people had tested positive while 228 people had succumbed to the infectious disease.
As many as 6,886 people are now under treatment in various hospitals and medical colleges in Tripura.
A senior Tripura Health and Family Welfare Department official said that after visiting seven of the state's eight districts for nine days, the Central team left the state on Friday.
The team will submit its report and recommendations to the MoHFW and Tripura government after reaching Delhi.
"The Central team during its visit to the districts held meetings with the concerned officials and supervised the Covid care centres, quarantine facilities and hospitals.
During informal discussions, it was revealed that people's unawareness about the risk of the disease is the key reason behind the rise in the number of positive cases," the official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
He said that as the Director of Tripura Health and Family Welfare Department Radha Debbarma had tested Covid-19 positive and Additional Chief Secretary in-charge of Health and Family Welfare Department Sanjay Kumar Rakesh now in home quarantine, the Central team could not hold the final meeting with them.
Another three-member Central team, led by G.K. Medhi, Professor and Head of the Department of Community Medicine at the Shillong-based North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health (and) Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), had earlier submitted its report to the state government after studying the source and other aspects of the coronavirus pandemic in Tripura.
In view of the deteriorating Covid-19 situation, the Tripura High Court recently asked the state government to file a detailed affidavit by Friday about the entire situation and treatment facilities.
In a suo moto case, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Subhashish Talapatra asked the state government to furnish answers to eight points, including the details of fund allocation at different government hospitals treating coronavirus patients.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who also holds the health portfolio, had earlier said that the Covid-19 crisis in the Agartala Municipal Corporation areas is extremely alarming as around 5 lakh people reside there.
The Tripura government is observing a two-day "Mask Enforcement Day" on Friday and Saturday to enforce the use of face masks by the people.
It has also imposed fine for violation of the government directives.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)