IMPHAL: The Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) drive conducted in Wangjing-Tentha and Lilong Assembly constituencies in Thoubal district which were part of the recently concluded by-election have come to a close without much significant cooperation from the general public, even as the two Assembly segments recorded above 90 percent voter turnouts in the by-poll.
The series of RAT drives were conducted in the said two Assembly constituencies after the by-poll as the authority strongly felt possible massive transmission of COVID-19 among the people during the hectic poll campaigning. On the advice of the Chief Minister N Biren, different medical teams conducted the RAT drive widely in the two Assembly segments for five days.
COVID-19 testing camps for Wangjing-Tentha AC that began from November 21 ended on November 25. For Lilong AC, the testing drive began from November 20 and ended on November 24.
During the 5-day long RAT drive conducted in Wangjing-Tentha AC, only 586 persons appeared for the COVID-19 test and 61 of them were tested positive for Coronavirus. In Lilong AC, only 225 persons came forward for the RAT test and 35 of them were found positive.
The post poll RAT drive launched by the state government in the two Assembly segments as a precautionary measure for COVID-19 can be said to have utterly failed as few people came forward for the test conducted in various locations with a target coverage of 500 persons each, although the recently concluded by-poll saw massive turnouts.
Notably, on November 19, a meeting involving local MLAs, DC, SDOs and health officials held at Thoubal DC office minutely discussed the massive RAT drive to be conducted in the two ACs effectively. On the first day of the testing in Wangjing-Tentha AC, local MLA Paonam Brojen also appealed to the people to appear for the test without any hesitation.