Guwahati, April 17: Assam Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma Saturday said that COVID neutral certificates from other states would not be accepted and all air and train passengers on reaching will have to undergo both Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR tests. Assam’s current COVID-19 situation is primarly linked to people with travel history, he said.
The minister said that the strain of virus found in the second wave is the UK variant which is very light and spreads very fast.
“Those coming from outside must undergo RT-PCR test on reaching Assam and the results will be available within 24 hours but till then they should stay in isolation”, he said.
Sarma admitted that the situation has turned “complicated” in the state during the last few days. “As of now we are prepared and the situation is under control”. Asked if the spike in COVID-19 cases can be linked to election rallies and campaigns held before the three-phase assembly polls which concluded on April 6, Sarma, also a senior BJP leader said that no connection could be established between the two. “We had conducted a study to find out if COVID cases had increased where there were more election rallies, but this could not established. Out of the 126 assembly constituencies in the state, there are no cases in around 100 of them,” he said.
Most of the recent cases are connected with travel history and have been reported from commercial and trading centres like Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Tezpur and Cachar, he said.
“In Assam the current cases are still linked to travel and there is no indigeneous COVID here,” he asserted.
No plans for lockdown or curfew in Assam
Stating that there is no need of lockdown due to the prevailing COVID 19 situation in the state, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that the state has adequate oxygen supply to treat the COVID-19 infected patients in the state.
Assam currently has 288.19 metric tonnes of oxygen available and an oxygen supply unit will be attempted to be established at each health centre of the state, Mr Sarma said while addressing a press conference here.
He said that the critical patients will be treated with Rendesivir.
“There are 12,000 vials of Rendesivir available in Assam. The government has ordered one lakh more vials to cope up with the second wave of COVID-19 in the state,” Sarma informed.
Sarma said that as a precautionary measure lower primary schools up to Class 5 to remain closed across Assam in districts with active cases less than 100 cases.
The districts include Kamrup (M), Dibrugarh, Kamrup (Rural), Tinsukia, Sonitpur and Cachar, among others.
While the decision to conduct board examinations will be made only after the new government comes to power.
The government has further directed the Board of Secondary Education Assam (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) to talk with the parents and teachers on the same issue. They have also been asked to send their recommendation within 10 days.
Sarma said that no new decision can be made as the state is under the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). As such, only the new government will decide on the issue of board exams.
The stateas reported 2,22,940 positive cases so far with 4,069 active cases and 1,127 deaths reported so far, health department official said. (PTI/Agencies)