The controversy surrounding the installation of RT- PCR laboratory in Lunglei Civil Hospital Mizoram has taken a new turn as a group called RT-PCR for Chhimbial filed a PIL in the High Court on June 11, 2021.
Currently, Mizoram is waging the battle against Covid19 with one RT-PCR Laboratory at Zoram Medical College (ZMC) which has been the ground zero for Covid 19 since the first detected positive case in March 2020. 10 Truenat laboratories are also installed in different district hospitals in the state while Rapid Antigen Tests are allowed to be conducted in every state and private hospitals.
On June 15 2020, a team of Medical experts was sent to Lunglei Civil Hospital to carry out inspection for the installation of the RT- PCR Diagnostic Laboratory.In the same month, Mr. Zodintluanga, a Congress legislator, donated RT-PCR machine to be installed in Lunglei. However, the state government could not give clearance for the installation on the grounds that the guidelines laid down by the ICMR have not been met. According to the state, the installation cannot be granted as the hospital fails to meet the requirement of a BSL- 3 laboratory for RT-PCR machine, as stated by the ICMR.
In the following months, the situation witnessed active intervention of political parties as they held several press release, blaming one party after the other. Unfortunately, the situation is now smeared with speculations about political game at play between the ruling party MNF and the opposition parties. In April, 2021 Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) sent a letter to the in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention for the immediate installation of another RT-PCR machine in Lunglei. The opposition party alleged that the installation has been deliberately delayed by the state government due to "political interests", without further elaborating on it, while official sources claimed that the delay was due to infrastructural requirements and want of completion of formalities.
Meanwhile, the unhappy voices of the people of the South district are getting louder as they continue to demand for the immediate installation of the RT- PCR laboratory. Due to the inability of the TrueNat laboratories to test large number of samples and the slow processing of results, large scale test cannot be conducted in the different towns and villages in the district. This led to the formation of an online group called RT- PCR for Chhimbial where they invite supporters to give donations for the cause.
On June 11, 2021 a PIL has been filed in the High Court in the name of the group's secretary Mr. LH Lalzarzoliana. RT-PCR for Chhimbial will be represented in court by their legal adviser Mr. JC Lalnunsanga.