How Tripura won the battle against COVID19

Prasenjit Chakraborty

April 27, 2020, 11:30:20   

It was almost a "blind" mission and not an easy deal for the state at the initial stage since nobody was aware about the situation until they came across it in the past one and half months. But the way the state fought and defeated the Corona pandemic has scripted a history. The Tripura model is now in the limelight and emerged as a centre of discussion-- many thanks to all the frontline warriors.

Although Tripura became Corona free, the lockdown is still in force with relaxation in some sectors and it will continue till May 3 next. All of a sudden, the novel coronavirus came calling and started claiming lives across the globe-- it all started from Wuhan in China and then the transmission chain continued to touch almost all big countries of the world including India. The first positive case of the country was detected in Kerala.

In Tripura, the first COVID-19 posssitive case was reported on April 6 last. But, the state had already started working on smart management with all necessary precautions in place to prevent spread of the virus and preparations to deal with any eventuality. Even, the Lockdown along with Curfew was enforced in Tripura well in advance on March 23 last. Besides, a strong mechanism was put in place to monitor the overall situation round the clock.

After the lockdown came in force, the government had to face four big challenges-- proper management of healthcare part, maintaining supply chain of essential commodities, providing assistance to the needy people and others stranded outside the state, and balancing the financial activities. And, the state did very well and overcome such challenges with solid management.

As it appeared, the social distancing helped Tripura a lot to break the transmission chain. The people from all walks of life showered their spontaneous supports to the Government in maintaining the central guidelines. Besides, all the borders had been sealed and the state government had sounded an alert in all the bordering areas to ensure zero infiltration from Bangladesh which visibly appeared to be one of the turning points for the state becoming Corona free.

In the entire mission, the Health professionals had to bear the major role on their shoulders-- right from screening of passengers at entry points to delivering treatment to the patients. At the initial stage, they reportedly had to struggle with lack of necessary arrangements including the availability of personal protection gear. But, as the battle continued to make progress, all such issues were resolved by the State Government.

Most importantly, the Health professionals left all the challenges behind and continued to render dedicated services round the clock in the fight against COVID19 inviting wide appreciation from across the society.
Two positive cases of novel coronavirus virus were detected in Tripura and both the patients have already recovered making the state Corona free.

As part of the preparations, a dedicated COVID19 hospital and one health centre have been set up in GBP and IGM hospitals. Besides, multiple isolation wards and Quarantine facilities have been prepared in every district.
The state government has also set up one state-level and eight district-level Control Rooms with adequate manpower to attend the distressed calls and solve the issues. The role of Control Rooms was very important in view of the war against COVID19. Now, the Health department has launched a drive for rapid anti-body tests at various places.

In another most important part, the Government took all necessary steps to ensure the supply chain of essential commodities and also kept a close watch on the local markets-- the authorities concerned carried out frequent raids to prevent black marketing. At the same time, arrangements were made to bring medical essentials through cargo flights.
Apart from this, the efforts of other frontline warriors including the men in uniform and others engaged in emergency services have also been credited for this achievement. Besides, providing security, many of the policemen and TSR jawans served the cause of humanity by carrying ration items and other essential commodities to remote hamlets of the state.

Meanwhile, the success came with active participation of many officials and other individuals or groups who discharged their duties in providing government assistance to the needy section during this crucial period. Apart from this, many NGOs and individuals also worked spontaneously in helping the needy people with the mantra- "serving the humanity".
The contributions made by all individuals, groups, organisations, elected representatives and others to Chief Minister's Relief Fund also have an equal importance in the fight against COVID19.

In Tripura, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb is leading the entire mission against COVID19. He is leaving no stone unturned and working as per the guidelines prescribed by the Central Government. He is equally extending assistance including monetary help to the needy people so that they don't face any problem as fallout of the lockdown.

At the same time, he has started preparations to overcome the challenges thrown by the adverse impact of COVID19 situation on the economic activities. The Deb-led Tripura cabinet already declared various austerity measures to curtail the government expenditure. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister in a video message announced that his Government would now focus more on primary sectors as an alternative to overcome the economic challenges post lockdown.

The industrial production, processing and manufacturing units have already resumed functions by maintaining the social distancing norms and other guidelines as per the government advisories.

The battle is still on but someday, the COVID19 pandemic will get over and the world will smile again, with some vital changes, of course.


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