Focus on Guwahati after over 500 Covid-19 cases detected in less than 24 hrs
Guwahati and the rest of Kamrup Metro district are already under total lockdown for 14 days beginning June 28 in a bid to arrest the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases.Updated: Jul 01, 2020 21:27 IST
Assam and northeast’s biggest city Guwahati is in focus following a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases and detection of over 500 positive patients in less than 24 hours.
On Tuesday, the city recorded 382 Covid-19 positive cases and on Wednesday till 3 pm another 157 had been added to the tally. Between June 24 and June 30, the city recorded 1,212 positive cases.
The Assam health minister termed the situation as “extremely critical” and urged residents to be very careful. Guwahati and the rest of Kamrup Metro district are already under total lockdown for 14 days beginning June 28 in a bid to arrest the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases.
“I had a phone conversation with union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday and he informed that in the Centre’s view, the Covid-19 scenario in Guwahati is extremely worrying. He instructed us to change our testing pattern urging to conduct 10,000 tests for the city daily,” said Sarma in a press conference.
“ICMR has suggested the use of rapid antigen-based tests which will enable us to deliver results within an hour. Tests will be done on nasal swab samples. Those found positive will be sent to isolation and those found negative but having symptoms will be subjected to a RT-PCR test,” he added.
Sarma said that training of personnel to carry out the new tests will happen from Thursday and the new testing regimen will be in place within the next few days. He added that initially around 3,000-4,000 tests would be done daily and it would be scaled up in future.
Following detection of over three dozen positive cases without travel history, the Assam government had started a campaign from June 15 urging people to come forward for tests voluntarily and deposit samples at 31 centres across the city. Till June 30, over 19,000 tests had been conducted as part of that drive.
“At present we have 1,538 hospital beds in Kamrup Metro for Covid-19 patients and 987 of them are occupied. We need another 1,500 beds immediately to cater to the rising number of cases,” Sarma said.
“We are also setting up a plasma bank in the next 4-5 days. A plasma separator has already been installed at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital. Training of personnel is on and we will soon be able to start plasma therapy for Covid-19 patients who need it,” he added.
The minister informed that a new website www.covidassam.in would be launched soon where people would be able to check their swab test results. The state government has also decided to allow home-cooked food for Covid-19 patients provided they are delivered to hospitals in disposal bags.
Till Wednesday afternoon, Assam had recorded 8,547 Covid-19 positive cases. A total of 5,647 patients have recovered and 12 deaths have been reported.