Assam plans to fly back 859 patients stranded outside the stateUpdated: Apr 29, 2020 18:30 IST
Guwahati: After facilitating return of 391 students from Kota in Rajasthan, Assam government is now mulling bringing back 859 patients from the state who went outside for treatment and are now stranded due to the lockdown.
Assam health and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed on Wednesday that the state government is consulting with the union civil aviation ministry and various airlines to try and bring back the patients by flight.
“Most of these patients have already completed their treatment and have expressed desire to return to the state. But since they are not fully recovered, it won’t be possible to bring them back by road,” he said.
This Sunday, 391 students who were studying in various institutes in Kota were brought back in 17 buses covering a distance of nearly 2,000 km. While the students paid for the journey, the state government provided 8 police officials to accompany them and facilitate their journey.
“We are in talks with the civil aviation ministry and private airlines to try and evacuate these patients and their relatives. At this moment it seems we will not be able to do it before May 3, but our efforts are on,” Sarma said.
Most of these 859 patients are stranded in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Vellore. The state government has already provided them Rs 25,000 each as financial aid.
Sarma informed that plans are also underway to bring back people from the state now stranded in Uttar Pradesh and other northeastern states.
“We will have to undertake this exercise in a very careful manner so that the present scenario in Assam doesn’t aggravate,” he said.
Assam has recorded 37 positive Covid-19 cases till Wednesday. While 1 patient has died, 29 have been discharged and 7 are still under treatment.
Besides financial aid to patients stranded outside, the state government has paid Rs 2,000 each to 2.15 lakh workers from the state who are stranded in other states and 1000 USD each to 52 persons from the state stranded abroad.
Since April 25, the state government has allowed inter-district movement of people stranded across Assam due to the lockdown. This window will be available till May 2.
Till Wednesday, nearly 49,000 persons have used their own vehicles to avail this benefit while more than 20,000 others have been transported free of cost by 1274 buses belonging to Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC).