The Mizoram government on Friday extended the partial lockdown in the Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) area and certain COVID-related restrictions in other parts of the state till September 4 with a few relaxations in the curbs.
The extension was announced as the restrictions, imposed on August 15, were scheduled to expire on Saturday.
Places of worship have been allowed to reopen in COVID-free localities outside the AMC area but deputy commissioners and village task forces have been asked to make arrangements for the same, according to an order.
However, churches for worship services will continue to remain closed in the AMC area, it said.
Circle or area-wise religious conferences or business meetings will be allowed in all parts of the state with a maximum of 200 participants or 50 per cent of the sitting capacity of a church where the event will be held, the order said.
The business meetings should be held only in day time and people with symptoms of COVID-19 and any patient suffering from chronic and serious diseases such as diabetes and cancer will not be allowed to take part in these programmes, it said.
The new order also permitted sporting activities- indoor games with 10 participants and outdoor events with maximum of 25 attendees in the AMC area.
Gymnasiums will also be allowed to reopen in the state capital with 33 per cent of the capacity.
Meanwhile, 115 more cases of Delta variant of Covid-19 have been detected in Mizoram, a health department official said.
In July,151 samples of coronavirus patients were sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal's Kalyani for whole-genome sequencing, the state's official spokesperson on Covid-19 Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma said.
"Of the 151 samples, 115 came out positive for Delta strain, which implied that it has widely spread in the state, especially in Aizawl. However, all these patients have recovered from the disease," he said.
With the fresh Delta variant cases, the state has so far reported 192 such infections, the official said.
Pachuau, who is also the state nodal officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, said the presence of new Covid-19 strains has already been detected in Aizawl, Lunglei, Kolasib and Serchhip districts.
"The state has so far sent 537 samples to NIBMG for whole genome sequencing between March and July. Of which, 192 came out positive for Delta variant and one each for the UK's Alpha and Eta strains," he said.
At least 500 more samples of Covid-19 patients from Aizawl, Lunglei, Champhai and Serchhip districts will be sent to NIBMG for genome sequencing this month.
Mizoram on Friday reported 522 Covid-19 cases, taking the state's tally to 50,959. The death toll rose to 192 as two more persons died due to the infection during the day, a health bulletin said.
At least 860 people were discharged from various Covid-19 care facilities during the day, taking the total number of recoveries to 44,005.