India

Inter-state movement behind rising Covid-19 cases in Assam: Sarma

Guwahati, May 21 (IANS) With Assam's Covid-19 tally more than doubling in four days taking the total count to 203 as on Thursday night, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma attributed the rise to the huge number of people returning to the state.

Sarma said that the sudden spike in the Covid-19 cases is due to large scale return of the people after the union Home Ministry withdraw the inter-state transport restriction on May 4.

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“So far by train and by road, 37,000 people, mostly from southern and western India, returned to Assam.

“Over 12 lakh people of the state are residing in different parts of the country. We are requesting them not to rush to the state to prevent a chaotic situation. Return to the state slowly. The Assam government has been providing financial aid to those people staying in different states,” the minister told the media.

He said that of the total cases, 36 cases are attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat's congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin in March, 32 cases are contracts, 112 are due to inter-state travelling and remaining various reasons and unknown source.

Out of the 203 cases, 54 people have been discharged from hospitals after they recovered from the disease and three migrated to other states, while four died, including a 16-year-old girl.

On Sunday, Assam had 100 cases, with two death and 41 people recovered from the dreaded virus.

Addressing the media, Sarma also said that the Assam government has launched a new scheme — “Ruthless Quarantine, With Big Heart”.

“Under this mandatory quarantine protocol, each suspected person must be in 14 days quarantine – 7-day instutional and 7-day home. Government will spend Rs 13,000 per head for 14 days,” he said, adding that if the home or institutional quarantine system failed, it would be a very big challenge to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the society.

The minister said that under the Assam Community Surveillance Plan (ACSP), no Covid-19 patient was found yet even after the health workers and doctors have already visited 21,500 villages across the state. They found only 20,000 people with various types of fever, not related to Covid-19.

The Assam government on May 7, launched an ambitious community-based surveillance (ACSP) for Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) across the state to contain the possible spread of Covid-19.

Under the ACSP, health workers including doctors would go to all 30,000 villages to identify the ILI and SARI cases in the villages.

Sarma also said that in order that economic activities and public services are not affected, the state government will instead of identifying a district as “Red” or “Orange” zone, will identify a certain area as a “Containment zone” and adjoining areas as “Buffer zone”.

“If any one escape from the quarantine center or violate the quarantine policy, police will take strictest action against them,” Sarma warned. He said that the state is currently testing 1,000 to 1,200 samples per day.

–IANS

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