Guwahati, August 9: The Assam government will provide COVID-19 patients in Guwahati who opt for home isolation with free medication and pulse oximeters (a non-invasive method of measuring oxygen levels in the blood), Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Sunday evening.
Covid patients in the northeastern state’s largest city will also benefit from a tele-medicine service that will slowly be expanded to other cities and towns, the health minster added.
“From tomorrow (Monday), we will provide patients preferring to stay in home isolation a pulse oximeter and first-line supportive medicine free in Guwahati city,” Sarma tweeted, adding, “We have also activated the tele-medicine service for them through 104. (We) will expand it further to other places soon”.
Sarma’s decision follows that of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who instituted a similar measure back in June. In July Mr Kejriwal said not a single Covid patient in home isolation had died that month.
The Assam government has also stepped up its plasma donation campaign, with Mr Sarma taking another leaf out of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s book in highlighting the encouraging impact of plasma treatment on COVID-19 patients.
Assam has recorded over 57,000 COVID-19 cases so far, of which 140 are deaths linked to the virus and nearly 17,000 are active cases. The state crossed the 50,000-mark this week.
Although the numbers aren’t as alarming as those in some other states, the number of new cases reported per day is a worry; on Saturday there were 2,218 new cases, while 2,679 were recorded on Friday – its highest single-day spike.
The spike comes as the state opens up shopping malls and gyms in line with “Unlock” guidelines issued by the central government.
On the positive side the state, widely seen as one of the best prepared in the early days of the pandemic, has conducted over 11 lakh Covid tests so far. Nearly 60,000 tests are conducted every day, the government has said.
Assam also has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country – at less than 1 per cent – and one of the highest recovery rates – around 70%. The national averages are around 2% and 68%, respectively.
Across India the total number of cases has surged past 21.5 lakh, of which more than 43,000 are deaths linked to the virus and 6.29 lakh are active cases. The country recorded over 60,000 cases in a 24-hour period for its biggest single-day spike, data showed this morning. (PTI/NDTV)