GUWAHATI: Mizoram Health Minister R Lalthangliana on Saturday alleged that the blockade imposed on the state by Assam has led to deaths of patients who were undergoing treatment for Covid-19. “Covid patients are dying for want of medicines. Seriously ill patients are in dire needs of life-saving drugs,” the minister said in a video, which was shared with this newspaper by the state’s Directorate of Information of Public Relations (DIPR) He, however, did not specify the number of people who died for want of medicines as a result of the blockade. However, official sources said about 25 people died.
‘Twenty-five Covid patients have died since the start of the blockade. They had been admitted to hospitals and their condition was serious,” Mina Zoliani, who is the deputy director of DIPR and a member of the media cell on border issues, told this newspaper The blockade was imposed by some organisations in
Assam’s Barak Valley in protest against the July 26 border skirmishes that left six Assam Police personnel dead and scores of others injured.
Lalthangliana said it was unfortunate that a number of trucks carrying life-saving drugs, medicines, and oxygen cylinders are still stuck at the interstate border. “With the rise in the number of Covid cases, we are finding it very difficult to manage patients who are in dire need of oxygen, given the limited supply due to blockage. Other necessities such as PPE kits and drugs are still stuck at the border,” the minister said.
He said the Union home and health ministers have not responded to his letters seeking their intervention.
“When Mizoram is badly affected by the second wave, it is a matter of grave concern that life-saving equipment and drugs are stuck at the border,” Lalthangliana said. He demanded the restoration of vehicular movement to Mizoram. “This act of arrogance is clearly in violation the rights to life under Article 21 of the Constitution,” he added. The sources said the RT-PCR lab at the ZMC was facing an acute shortage of items needed for Covid testing.