Tripura reports 138 cases of ‘Delta Plus’ variant, government impose weekend curfew and restrictions till July 17.
In a worrisome development, about 90 per cent of the COVID-19 samples sent from Tripura for genome sequencing showed the presence of the “Delta Plus” variant which is feared to be the potential reason behind the third wave of the pandemic in the country.
This pushed the northeast state, first to show such dense presence of the Delta Plus variant, further tighten its restrictions by introducing Weekend Curfew — Saturday 12noon to Monday 6.30 in the morning — and have further extended existing day and night curfews in the rest days throughout out Agartala city and other Urban Local Bodies that have shown high trajectory of cases for a week.
Chief Microbiologist of GBP Hospital Dr. Tapan Debbarma in an urgent late-night media interaction last Friday said, “ A total of 151 samples were sent for genome sequencing in the regional laboratory at Kolkata where 138, that is 91.38 per cent were Delta Plus variant. The samples sent were not only collected from Agartala (highest prevalence of cases in the state) but also from other districts that indicate the variant has transmitted throughout the state “
Of those samples that were found to be Delta Plus variants, the majority, 115 were collected from West district that includes Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) while, of the rest eight were from Sepahijala district, five from Gomati district, four from Unakoti district, two each from South and North district, and one each from Khowai and Dhalai district.
Of those samples that weren’t Delta Plus, three were alpha variants attributed for the first wave from March 2020 to March 2021, and ten were Delta variants, also attributed for the ongoing second wave from April 2021.
There is a need to review the situation again in today’s context, said Chief Microbiologist and added that the health department has proposed to the Tripura government to take the necessary course of action.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Revenue department Tanushree Debbarma said the curfew had been extended without any lapse since the past one month.
Informing that the situation has been reviewed again, Tanushree said, “It has been decided that a complete curfew will be enforced across Tripura from 12 noon on July 10 to 6 AM on July 12, the two weekend days when most government offices are also shut due to second Saturday and Sunday. Everything will be closed and vehicular movements will be barred except emergency services during that period”.
These restrictions are implemented in 11 Urban Local Bodies — Ranirbazar Municipal Council, Jirania Nagar Panchayat, Udaipur Municipal Council, Kailashahar Municipal Council, Dharmanagar Municipal Council, Khowai Municipal Council, Belonia Municipal Council, Kumarghat Municipal Council, Teliamura Municipal Council, Sonamura Nagar Panchayat, Amarpur Nagar Panchayat and Sabroom Nagar Panchayat — along with Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC).
Night and Day curfews have also been extended in these ULBs on weekdays — Monday to Friday during which, all non-essential shops and services will be closed after 2 pm till next day 6 am.