56 more test positive for COVID-19 in Assam; total count 1,272


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Guwahati, May 31: Assam reported 56 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total tally in the state to 1,272, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
Of the fresh cases, 18 are from Lakhimpur, 12 from Barpeta, seven from Udalguri, five each from Baksa and Dhubri, three from Kamrup and two from Dhemaji.
The new cases also include two people who recently returned by air. Of them, one is from Nalbari, and the details of the other person were yet to be determined.
Sarma said with ramping of the testing facilities, the aim now is to reduce institutional quarantine to four days and increase home quarantine to 14 days.
“The number of cases in the state has increased, no doubt, since inter-state movement began but we have managed to cross a critical phase by increasing our testing facilities and ensuring a strict but humane quarantine system,” the minister said at a press conference here.
Meanwhile, 22 patients have been cured and discharged on Sunday. With this, there are 1,080 active patients. As many was 185 people have recovered while four have died and three others have migrated outside the state.
Since May 4, the state has detected 1,124 cases.
“We have so far tested 1,04,083 people and the ramping up of our testing facilities is a shining example of public service by which we have convincingly crossed states like Kerala which was considered to be healthcare models”, he said.
Assam has developed the capacity to test 10,000 people daily and by June 15 two lakh people are expected to be tested, he said.
As of now, institutional quarantine will continue to be seven days but by June 10 “we expect to reduce it to four days but only if the test results are negative”, Sarma said.
“We will not reduce institutional quarantine just for the sake of reducing but only as we have the capacity of increased testing facilities”, he said.
The minister said that with Centre initiating more relaxations in the nationwide lockdown, the state government “cannot remain COVID-centric but we have to normalise the situation by co-existing with coronavirus to revive the economy”.
The guidelines for the “unlockdown” will be announced on Monday but it will be more or less in lines with that of the Centre, Sarma said.
“As long as the quarantine system is robust and working, there is nothing to worry. We are activating village-level home quarantine system. We are moving from Lockdown to Unlockdown phase and we are confident about it,” he said.
A standard operating procedure (SOP) was being prepared on how to tackle both floods and COVID-19 together, the minister said, adding the state government has so far quarantined 2,29,893 people and this has been possible due to the coordinated efforts of all agencies concerned.
“We expect people to return to the state by June 10 and till then we expect to ramp up the home quarantine system and bring down institutional quarantine to four days as this will also save public money,” Sarma said.
Most of the positive cases in Assam are from quarantine centres and their samples are collected either before they enter the facility or on the first day itself, he said.
Of the total cases, 1,124 are those who came from other states after inter-state travel restrictions were lifted, 36 attended the Markaz event in delhi and 32 others were identified through contact tracing, while 24 had no travel history, the state health minister said.
All the districts in Assam have positive cases with Hojai having the highest of 177 cases, followed by Kamrup (Metro) 124 and Morigaon with 79 while Majuli has only one patient.
“All districts have COVID-19 patients but most are had travelled from outside. We had conducted community surveillance in 29,771 villages and found 26,000 people with fever but none of them tested positive,” Sarma said
All district civil hospitals in the state have coronavirus patients, the minister said adding 50 model hospitals with each with 50 beds will be activated by June 5. (PTI)