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Home / Cities / Assam: Covid-19 deaths cross 500; cases inch close to 150,000

Assam: Covid-19 deaths cross 500; cases inch close to 150,000

The north-east’s most-populous state is also reporting a consistent surge in new Covid-19 cases. Assam has been reporting around 2,500 new Covid-19 cases almost daily for around a month

cities Updated: Sep 17, 2020 11:48 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
A Covid-19 patient being taken to the hospital in an ambulance at Bhangagarh in Guwahati.
A Covid-19 patient being taken to the hospital in an ambulance at Bhangagarh in Guwahati.(ANI/File photo)

Assam’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19)-related deaths breached the 500 mark, as 19 more patients died on Wednesday.

The north-east’s most-populous state is also reporting a consistent surge in new Covid-19 cases. Assam has been reporting around 2,500 new Covid-19 cases almost daily for around a month.

So far, the state has recorded 148,969 Covid-19 cases.

Also read: India crosses 60 million mark for Covid-19 testing

In September, the state reported around 40,000 new Covid-19 cases and over 200 deaths.

The first Covid-19 positive case in Assam was diagnosed on March 31 and the first death due to the viral infection 10 days later.

“In August, Assam had reported 68,000 Covid-19 cases and another 30,000 in the first 10 days of September. If the trend continues, we may record around 90,000 new Covid-19 cases in September alone,” state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said recently.

The recovery and the death rate in the state is 80.10% and 0.34%, respectively, according to a bulletin issued by National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, on Wednesday.

At present, the doubling rate of fresh cases is 33 days.

Altogether, 2,815,285 tests, including both reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid antigen detection (RAD), have been conducted across the state.

The total tests per million population stand at 83,095.

Around 1,000 recovered Covid-19 patients have donated plasma across the state until Wednesday and over 1,500 patients suffering from the contagion have been given plasma treatment, the NHM bulletin stated.

Private hospitals are running out of regular beds and also in intensive care units (ICUs) in the state capital Guwahati, which is a part of the Kamrup Metropolitan district, because up to 500 new Covid-19 cases are being reported daily.

However, beds are available in hospitals and dedicated Covid Care Centres (CCCs), said the minister.

“We have adequate ICU and isolation beds in hospitals and there will be no problem in September. We are planning to increase ICU beds in a bid to cope with a rise in Covid-19 patients from October,” said Sarma.

“Two large oxygen tanks are being set up in Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH), which will be followed by similar measures in other medical colleges in a bid to meet the increased demand of oxygen for critically ill Covid-19 patients. It will help us store oxygen for at least 15 days,” he added.

The minister said that there have been several cases in the state, where patients have died after recovering from Covid-19 . However, there has been no survey of the total number of such deaths, Sarma added.

“Though the Covid-19 situation in Assam is critical, we are geared to cope with it. The public should take precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing stringently in a bid to rein in the viral infection,” said Samir Kumar Sinha, principal secretary (health), Assam.

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