Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) notifies the Govt. of Mizoram that the old building of Lunglei Tourist Lodge is advisable to be converted into an RT- PCR laboratory. The building has been previously proposed by the High Court judges when 'RT-PCR for Chhimbial' filed a PIL in the High Court. The Court hearing was held on 27- 28 August, 2021 after which the Gauhati High Court ordered the Govt.of Mizoram to take immediate measures required for setting up RT- PCR lab in Lunglei.
In an official notice to Mizoram's Health and Family Welfare minister, Dr. R. Lalthangliana, ICMR advises the state government to immediately vacate the Tourist Lodge building and "refurbish it appropriately as per the norms of setting up RT- PCR lab." At present, the bulding proposed to be developed as RT- PCR laboratory is still being used for guest house purpose. The letter also stated that NEIGRIHMS has been "designated to mentor and train the staff of the laboratories" in the North East region intending to initiate facility.
Mizoram has one RTPCR laboratory at Zoram Medical College (ZMC), which is the lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital in the state, and TrueNAT laboratories have been installed in 10 district hospitals across the state. After a long delay by the state government in giving clearance for the installation of RT-PCR lab at Lunglei, a community funded group called 'RT PCR fro Chhimbial' was formed and a PIL was filed in the Gauhati High Court by the said group. Many suspected that the installation was deliberately delayed by the state government due to political interest which stirred up a controversy regarding the RT- PCR issue. After the High Court gave order to the state government to take immediate steps to install the RT- PCR lab, progress has been slow and there has been delay in obtaining the required paperwork and infrasturctural requirements and formalities to be approved by the government.
Robert Romawia Royte, Minister of Tourism, Govt. of Mizoram has also stated the approval to use the old building of Lunglei Tourist Lodge as a makeshift RT- PCr laboratory.