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Tripura tribal affairs minister tests positive for COVID-19

A strict mask enforcement drive for two days, on September 18 and 19, will be held across state.

Tripura Forest and Tribal Affairs minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia has tested positive for Covid-19 along with four others from his residence, officials said Wednesday.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, a health official at the COVID-19 control room said the minister, his relatives and security personnel who have tested positive were found asymptomatic and are in home isolation under the supervision of medical officers.

Earlier, four other legislators from Tripura including BJP MLA Ashish Kumar Saha, Mimi Majumder, Rampada Jamatia, and IPFT MLA Dhananjoy Tripura, had tested positive for novel coronavirus. All of them have recovered.

Meanwhile, a three-member central medical team, which arrived in the state for a 10-day visit on September 11 to oversee COVID-19 preparations, said preliminary assessments have revealed that people have not adhered to social distancing and mask-wearing protocols in Tripura.

The central team has so far visited the state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital, Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) Hospital, state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial (IGM) Hospital, private society-run Tripura Medical College and Dr. BR Ambedkar Teaching Hospital at Agartala and four district hospitals.

Speaking at a press conference here later this evening, Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said a strict mask enforcement drive for two days, on September 18 and 19, will be held across Tripura.

On the two days, the district administration and police would enforce provisions of the Tripura Epidemic Disease, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 and penalties would be imposed against violators. Joint flying squads of the police and administrative officials are being formed for extensive enforcement on these days.

Tripura has penal provisions of Rs. 200 fine for not wearing face masks in the first case of violation and Rs. 400 for subsequent violations.

The state has so far reported a total of 20,172 positive Covid-19 cases and 222 deaths. Tripura has a Covid-19 fatality rate of 1.10 per cent, one of the highest fatality rates in northeastern states.

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