Itanagar, July 2: Returnees to Arunachal Pradesh now have to pay for swab tests to check if someone currently has COVID-19, and services availed at quarantine facilities, Health & Family Welfare Minister Alo Libang said on Thursday.
Over 16,000 people have returned to the state since lockdown was imposed in late March and the expenses for their swab tests and stay in quarantine centres were borne by the state government, Libang told PTI.
According to the new system which came into effect from Wednesday, returnees will bear these costs, he said.
Earlier, swab tests were free, while inmates of quarantine centres, set up mostly in private hotels and guest houses, paid a nominal amount for the services availed there as the rates were highly subsidised, officials said.
Now, there will be no subsidy and the inmates will have to pay as per the rates of the hotels and guest houses, they said.
Till July 1, a total of 24,856 samples, including those from returnees, were collected and results of 1,669 are awaited.
The health minister recently conducted a three-day tour in Changlang, Namsai, Lower Dibang Valley, Dibang Valley, Lohit and other districts of Eastern Arunachal to take stock of the coronavirus situation.
He was accompanied by Eastern Arunachal MP Tapir Gao, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and Health secretary Dr P Parthiban.
Libang said that frontline warriors, including doctors and nurses, deserve salutation for their selfless hard work for which there is no community spread of the virus in the state.
Arunachal Pradesh reported a total of 195 COVID-19 positive cases so far with one death. The state now has 128 active cases and 66 patients have recovered from the disease and discharged from hospitals.(PTI)