Guwahati, Aug 17 (IANS) Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday said that the Centre has allocated around Rs 1,353 crore to northeast states under the emergency Covid response package-II.
Chairing a review meeting on the public health response to Covid-19 with the Health Ministers of northeastern states in Guwahati, he said that he is hopeful that the state governments are fully prepared and are equipped to thwart the possible third wave of Covid-19 in the region.
Of the Rs 1,353 crore, Assam gets the highest amount, at Rs 812.46 crore, followed by Rs 141.94 crore for Arunachal Pradesh, Rs 93.02 crore for Tripura, Rs 91.94 crore for Meghalaya, Rs 85.95 crore for Manipur, Rs 62.46 crore for Nagaland, Rs 44.3 crore for Mizoram and Rs 21.85 for Sikkim.
Mandaviya, who arrived in Guwahati at the head of a central team to review the Covid-19 situation in the region, said that during the review meeting, state Health Ministers offered their suggestions to combat the pandemic in this region and to achieve vaccination for their people at in the shortest possible time. He appreciated the efforts of the state governments in controlling the spread of the pandemic during the second wave.
About the possible threat of third wave in the region, he said that the Centre has been constantly monitoring the situation and is committed to provide all necessary assistance to all the states to tackle the pandemic better.
In Tuesday's meeting, Assam Health Minister Keshab Mahanta and his counterparts gave an overview of Covid situation and their strategies to combat the pandemic in their respective states through brief presentations. Senior officials of the state governments and Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry were present in the meeting.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma held a separate meeting with Mandaviya at the Assam Administrative Staff College and apprised him about the Covid situation in the state.
The Assam government on Tuesday began allowing inter-state movement of private vehicles and people except to and from Kamrup (Metro) District, relaxed some guidelines and eased the night curfew timings from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., instead of 6 p.m to 5 a.m.
According to the revised directive of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), all work places, commercial establishments, restaurants, hotels, resorts, sale counters, showrooms, cold storages and warehouses, shops dealing with groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths and animal fodder would be open up to 6 p.m.
The ASDMA notification said that the students, who have taken both doses of Covid vaccine, have been permitted to attend physical classes in respect of final year of graduate and post-graduate engineering and medical colleges. The new guidelines said that gatherings are allowed up to 200 persons in open spaces and up to 50 per cent of the hall capacity or 200 fully vaccinated persons, whichever is lower, in closed venues. Meanwhile, cinema and theatre halls will continue to remain closed.