5 Northeast states fully COVID-19 free: Jitendra Singh

5 Northeast states completely COVID-19 free: Union minister Jitendra Singh

Benficrairies stand in a queue to withdraw money using the mobile bank service introduced by State Bank of India during the nationwide lockdown, in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, in Dharmanagar, North Tripura, Thursday, April 16, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Five out of the eight Northeastern states are completely coronavirus-free and the remaining three have not added any new COVID-19 positive case in the last few days, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Monday.

Singh, who is the minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said this after a video conference with senior officers of the North Eastern Council (NEC), Shillong, as well representatives of different government bodies and PSUs.

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The minister said five Northeastern states -- Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura -- are totally coronavirus-free while three other states -- Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram -- had eight, 11 and one COVID-19 positive cases respectively.

All these patients have recovered and the cases will soon turn negative, he said, adding that no new case has been added till Sunday night.

He congratulated the state governments of the region, the chief ministers and also the officials in the ministry of DoNER and the NEC for ensuring perfect coordination, which has made this possible. 

Singh also informed about the proposals received from different states of the region like Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur for new health-related projects devoted to management of infections and coronavirus care, critical care and upgraded healthcare.

These projects will be dealt with priority, he said.

In addition, the ministry of DoNER has placed Rs 25 crore at the disposal of Northeastern states in the initial stage itself, much before the lockdown, as gap-funding for coronavirus-related activities, he said.

During the meeting, the minister received updates about various economic activities in the recent days following exemptions given by the Ministry of Home Affairs in different sectors, including bamboo-related activities.