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Assam to follow ‘ruthless quarantine with humane heart’

GUWAHATI: In the wake of spike in COVID-19 positive cases in Assam because of continuous inflow of state residents from outside, Assam Health Department has made some changes in the quarantine strategy to make it more effective so as to prevent community transmission of the deadly virus from the ‘carriers’ coming from outside.

The new strategy has been termed as “ruthless quarantine with humane heart’ by the state Health Minister, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma who said 14 days’ quarantine either institutional or at home, must for everyone coming to the state from outside otherwise it will not be possible to save the state from community transmission.

He said Assam government was ready to spend maximum Rs 13,000 per head for the mandatory institutional quarantine through respective Deputy Commissioners of districts and said the role of village-level home quarantine monitoring committee would be of utmost importance in the coming days when more and more people are coming to the state from outside.

He said out of the 191 COVID-19 positive cases detected in the state so far, 112 cases have travel history while 36 cases were related to Tablighi Jammat and 32 cases were related to Aloo Godam case at Fancy Bazar in Guwahati. Nine of the positive cases — four in Bongaigaon, four in Kamrup Metro district and one in Kamrup district — had no travel history.

Most populous Kamrup Metropolitan district has recorded maximum 37 COVID-19 positive cases followed by 23 in Hojai, 16 in Kamrup.

The minister said so far about 37,000 state residents had returned to the state from outside through road and rail routes while another about 12 lakhs are waiting to come back. “Assam has no facility to quarantine such a huge number of people at one go. So, I again request those stranded outside to come back slowly batch by batch. They can wait where they are now till October or so as lockdown has been relaxed hugely all over the country. Moreover, Assam government is releasing the second instalment of Rs 2000 per head for May for these people in a few days and will also release the third instalment in June to help them sustain themselves outside.

The health department has meanwhile ramped up the COVID-19 testing facilities in all the seven designated laboratories in the state and so far 40033 tests have been conducted. The minister claims that average 1000 to 1200 tests are being conducted in the state as on date.

Assam government has decided that economic activities in the state must continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic threat and hence decided that no district will be declared a Red Zone unless there is detection of at least 200 COVID-19 positive cases in a district.

“We will demarcate containment zones and buffer zones as per protocols in case of detection of COVID-19 positive cases in a particular locality

Source: The Shillong Times

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