Bihar completes five years of total ban on liquor amidst criticism and compliments

PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting here to review the coronavirus situation in the state and directed officials to pull up their socks to contain the recent spike in COVID cases owing to “second wave” of the pandemic.

Kumar said that there was a possibility of return of migrants from worst-affected states and, as such, officials must set up quarantine centres at block levels on the lines of the ones which were established last year when millions had returned home after losing their jobs and homes during the nationwide lockdown.

He also reaffirmed the need for raising testing rate in the state, which had come down to about 20,000 samples per day recently in view of a dip in the incidence during winters, by five times.

He pointed out that aggressive testing and isolating, by means of setting up containment zones in the worst-affected zones, along with the ongoing vaccination drive will help the state overcome the sudden rise in coronavirus cases.

The chief minister was accompanied by health minister Mangal Pandey and top officials of the state at the meeting here, while District Magistrates were connected through video conferencing.

He also called upon the need for strict enforcement of preventive measures like social distancing, wearing of face masks and regular washing of hands.

Principal Secretary, Health, Pratyaya Amrit during his presentation in the meeting said that eight districts- Patna, Jehanabad, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Siwan and Saran-have maximum number of active cases in the state.

The chief minister ordered testing of all health and frontline workers as well as their kins.

He also emphasised on speeding up the inoculation process in the state.

A total of 3496836 citizens have been given jabs in Bihar till Monday.