Mizoram: Over 9,000 pigs have died due to African Swine Fever

African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to wreak havoc in Mizoram, with 10 out of 11 districts currently affected by the dreaded swine fever. Over 9,000 pigs have died in three months, according to the state’s animal husbandry and veterinary science department.

According to data released by the department on Sunday, at least 152 villages or local areas in 10 districts are currently affected by ASF, which has claimed a total of 9,172 pigs since March, causing monetary losses to the tune of over Rs. 36.68 crore.

Besides, the unusual death of 699 pigs was reported outside ASF infected areas, it said. Though the cause of death is suspected to be ASF, it is yet to be confirmed, the department added.

The official data also said that 1,078 pigs have been culled so far to prevent the disease from spreading further.

The first pig death due to an unknown disease was reported at Lungsen village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh on March 21.

After testing negative for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and Classical Swine Flu (CSF), the pig samples were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD) in Bhopal, which confirmed the cause of pig deaths as “ASF” on April 16.

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Though the spread of ASF in Lunglei district now became less severe, it began to ravage Aizawl district, which borne the brunt of the pig disease with 3,454 pig deaths so far, according to the department joint director (livestock health) Dr Lalhmingthanga.

So far, the ASF has killed 3,092 pigs in Lunglei district, 684 in Mamit district, 939 in Serchhip district, 320 in Lawngtlai district, 334 in Khawzawl district, 83 in Hnahthial district, 257 in Champhai district, 8 in Saitual district and 1 in Siaha district, he said.

Only Kolasib, which borders Assam, is the ASF-free district in the state, he said. Lalhmingthanga said that a special diseases investigation team, which visited Lungsen village during April 5-8 found that pigs are illegally imported from Bangladesh through villages like Tipperaghat and Khojoysury located near the Bangladesh border.

Illegal pig traders use Lungsen village as a stock point for keeping the animals before moving them to Lunglei market, he said.

He said that the president of the Rolui village council informed that the outbreak of an unknown disease killed several pigs in Bangladesh villages along the India border in February 2021.

Lalhmingthanga further said that the ASF outbreak in Aizawl district and east Mizoram’s Champhai district is believed to be caused by pigs or pork imported from Meghalaya and Myanmar respectively.

He added that the state government will urge the Centre to give compensations to the culled pigs.

Mizoram CM urges Modi to give free Covid vaccines to 11 Special Category states

Aizawl, June 1 Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide free Covid vaccines to the 11 Special Category states which have poor resources.

In his posts on different social media platforms on Tuesday, Zoramthanga said that he has written to the Prime Minister on Monday requesting his intervention for the government to buy the entire vaccine requirements and make equitable distributions to all the Special Category states.

“I also requested to all the Chief Ministers of the northeastern states to take a similar line of action, so as to present a united front to the government of India,” said the Chief Minister, who is also the President of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF).

The MNF is a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and an anti-Congress alliance of regional parties — the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).

The Mizoram CM said that while most parts of India appear to have reached a stage where the new cases of Covid-19 are declining, northeast India is still witnessing an increasing trend of new cases.

He said that the pandemic puts serious stress on the resources of the country and this has far more severe impacts on small states with small resource bases like Mizoram.

“On top of this, we are now required to buy the vaccines for 18-44 years age group, which puts more stress on our meagre resources. I also requested that the special category states like Mizoram are provided with vaccines free of charge by the government of India,” Zoramthanga said.

According to NITI Aayog, the eight northeastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand were earlier granted special category status.

Special category status for plan assistance was granted in the past by the National Development Council to the states that are characterised by a number of features necessitating special consideration from the centre.

Also Read: Breaking Assam Covid doctor thrashed by locals; Police nab one

Aizawl to be in railway map in next couple of years: NFR

The Mizoram state capital Aizawl will be on the railway map in the next two years. The construction of 51.38 km long stretch of the broad gauge railway line between Sairang and Bairabi is likely to be completed by December 2023.

The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) official said on Friday that construction work is in progress and almost all the tenders for various works have been finalised.
The 51 km line long broad-gauge line will consist of 55 bridges of which six are tall bridges having a height of more than 70m and 32 tunnels. According to an official of NFR, 89.55% of earthwork, 37% of major bridges and about 73.26% of minor bridges have been completed. 21% of the construction of cut and cover tunnels has also been completed, he added.

Besides Bairabi, the railway line will pass through four stations- Hortoki, Kawnpui, Mualkhang and Siarang.

Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, Mizoram’s Chief Secretary on Friday visited various construction sites to take stock of the progress and interacted with railway officials. He shared positive feedback with the NFR officials and urged them to accelerate the construction. He said that the project will play an important role in unlocking the untapped economic potential of the state.

The foundation stone of the Sairang- Birabi broad gauge line was laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first term in November 2014. The project was started in 2015 and was initially scheduled to be done by 2018.

The project could not be completed on the scheduled time because of several hurdles, including hilly terrain, deep valleys and gorges, frequent landslides, short duration of working season due to monsoon and lack of labour and construction materials in the state.

Mizoram's plan to tackle second wave of COVID-19

Aizawl, Apr 22 Mizoram Health Minister Dr. R.Lalthangliana on Thursday said the state government is ramping up facilities to deal with the second wave of the pandemic.

The health minister on Thursday convened a meeting with officials, churches, doctors and community leaders to review the prevailing coronavirus situation in the state.

He told the meeting that the state is facing a shortage of hospitals and COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCs) due to a spurt in coronavirus cases.

"The utmost need now is to ramp up our facilities as the existing CCCs and Zoram Medical College (ZMC) are not enough to accommodate COVID-19 patients," he said.

According to the health minister, Aizawl district alone has 433 active cases now, which is about 76 per cent of the total number of active cases in the state.

In the wake of the evolving situation concerning the spread of the disease, screening for COVID-19 will be beefed up at Lengpui airport near Aizawl, Vairengte on the Mizoram- Assam border and other entry points, the minister said.

A consignment of 1 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine arrived in the state on Wednesday and effort is on to procure more vaccines, he said.

The meeting decided to hold a separate meeting with church authorities and appeal to them to offer their halls to the state government to be used as COVID-19 Care Centres.

While symptomatic patients are treated at ZMC, asymptomatic patients are kept under observation at COVID-19 Care Centres in Mizoram.

Initially, ZMC was used as a COVID-19 dedicated hospital but the states lone medical college was opened to general patients when Mizorams COVID-19 curve started showing a downward trend a few months ago.

Meanwhile, ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) MLA and state health and family welfare board chairman Dr Z R Thiamsanga said, the government is once again mulling to designate ZMC as a dedicated COVID-19 hospital.

The state has about 36 COVID-19 Care Centres which can accommodate over 2,000 patients.

"We are planning to reactivate all the CCCs as they had become non-functional," he said.

Mizoram on Thursday reported 73 COVID-19 cases, pushing the states coronavirus caseload to 5,158.

The state now has 546 active cases while 4,600 people have recovered from the infection.

Twenty-four people were discharged from various CCCs on Thursday.

The coronavirus death toll in the state is 12.

Mizoram logs 8 fresh COVID-19 cases, tally at 4,508

Aizawl, Apr 7  At least eight more people,

including two children, tested positive for novel coronavirus in Mizoram, pushing the tally to 4,508, an official said on Wednesday.

The northeastern state now has 50 active cases, while 4,447 people have recovered from the disease.

A total of 11 people have died due to the contagion so far, he said.

The state has tested 2,56,181 samples for COVID-19, including 1,149 on Tuesday, the official said.

At least 57,408 people have been administered the first dose of vaccine, of which 18,044 beneficiaries have received the second shot, the health department said.

Mizoram celebrates Easter Sunday

Aizawl, Apr 4 Easter Sunday, which marks the

victory of Christ over death after his crucifixion, was celebrated across Christian-majority Mizoram on Sunday with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

Special prayers and worship services were also held by all churches of different denominations.

The celebrations began on Saturday night with Catholic church members holding Easter vigil.

Band parties of different corps of the Salvation Army woke the Aizawl populace on Sunday morning by playing the hymn, "He's arisen".

In rural parts of the state, children took to the streets singing hymns and shouting slogans to mark the beginning of the celebrations.

Sunrise services were organised by the youth wings of both the Presbyterian and Baptist churches.

Preachers of different churches preached sermons on the resurrection of Christ.

Last year, Easter Sunday was celebrated behind closed doors due to the nationwide lockdown.

I-League: Aizawl face Sudeva in a mid-table clash

Kalyani, Feb 13 Aizawl FC and Sudeva Delhi FC will be keen to outdo each other when the two sides meet in a mid-table clash of the I-League here on Sunday.

After their goalless draw against Churchill Brothers, Aizawl were stunned by TRAU 1-0, dragging the former champions down to the eighth position with eight points from seven games.

With four rounds remaining in the first phase, a victory for Yan Law's side will give them a chance to make up for lost ground and start moving into the top half of the standings to eventually fight for the top six spots.

"We were fantastic in the last game. The better team lost. The boys were fantastic, tactically disciplined. We kept most of the ball and creating chances. We just failed to convert.

"Despite the defeat, I am really proud of the players, and if we convert our chances, I am sure we can win this competition," Law said.

"The gap between the second and us is just three points. We are really hungry for a win, and I am sure if pick up a victory, it is going to change the table completely. I am really happy with the attitude and mentality that the players have shown in training and am hoping for a positive result," he added.

Sudeva Delhi FC put up an eye-catching display in their last game as they beat Chennai City FC 4-0. The newcomers loom in seventh place with eight points from six games but have a chance to make it a memorable debut campaign by making it to the top six.

After getting a 10-day rest, Chencho Dorji's all-Indian contingent will be raring to get on the field and win the game against the former I-League champs.

"The mood in the camp is good. We have watched a lot of our game tapes and worked on avoiding the mistakes. The players are rested well, and now, are looking forward to the next game against Aizawl," Dorji said.

"It is important to keep picking up points. One more loss and we could be at the bottom of the league. Aizawl play well when they are on the ball. We need to keep our focus on defence and make sure we take our chances in front of the goal," he added. PTI

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Mizoram's Capital Aizawl Records Best Air Quality Among 119 Cities

Mizoram's capital Aizawl recorded the best air quality out of 119 Indian cities on November 29 (Sunday), according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

The 24-hour Air Quality Index of the northeast city was recorded at 14 at 4 pm on Sunday, followed by Meghalaya's capital Shillong at 25 and Karnataka's Mysuru at 34.

Expressing happiness, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga tweeted several images of the scenic state saying that it’s a natural bliss. He wrote: “Mizoram’s capital Aizawl records best Air Quality Index of 14 among 119 cities. #cleanair #naturalblessing #CentralPollutionControlBoard.”

COVID-19: Lockdown in Aizawl Extended

In orer to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the lockdown in Aizawl was extended till November 9.

The decision was taken at a meeting among health officials, the doctors’ association, NGOs and churches, an official said.

The lockdown is scheduled to be lifted at 4.30 am on November 9, the official said.

Earlier, the lockdown was imposed in Aizawl municipal area on October 27 to break the chain of transmission.