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22 fresh COVID-19 cases in Assam, infection tally crosses 200-mark

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

Twenty-two new COVID-19 cases, with 14 of them from different quarantine centres, were reported in Assam on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 210 in the state, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Seven persons, five from Sonitpur and two from Lakhimpur, quarantined at the Zonal Quarantine Centre at the Tezpur Central University, tested positive tonight, the minister tweeted.

Four persons reported positive Thursday evening from Sarusajai Quarantine centre with two belonging from Karbi Anglong and one each from Darrang and Udalguri.

Eight persons were found positive earlier which include three from Kokrajhar, two from Sivasagar, two from Dhubri and one from Dibrugarh.

Three persons from the Kokrajhar Quarantine Centre were tested positive earlier in the day and they have been admitted to the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital at Barpeta.

Out of the 210 total cases, 149 are active cases, four have died, three migrated out of the state and 54 recovered and released from the hospital, he said.

Six persons--four from Silchar Medical College and Hospital and two from Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital-were cured and discharged from the hospital on Thursday, the minister said at a press conference here.

Tracing the source of the cases in the state, 36 are connected to the Tablighi Markaz, 112 have travel history to different nations, 32 are from contact tracing, while the history of nine persons could not be ascertained and some who were detected on Wednesday are being checked, he said.

Kamrup (Metro) has reported the highest of 37 cases, followed by Hojai with 23, Kamrup 16, Cachar and Golaghat with 14 each while eight out of the 33 districts in the state have not reported any COVID-19 cases so far.

"We have positive patients mostly from outside the state and cases will increase for which we have to implement our quarantine policy effectively or else it will spread to the community, he said.

Sarma said to ensure that the quarantine policy is strictly implemented, "we have adopted the approach of ruthless quarantine with a human heart".

"All coming from other states will have to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine and then after the test results, if found negative, will be allowed home quarantine, he said.

The state government has done away with the paid quarantine system and will "bear the entire cost which will be a huge financial burden, but we are going ahead with it to ensure that it does not spread to the community level, the minister said.

Besides the stay, the state government will spend Rs 500 daily on the food of the quarantined persons and those sent for home quarantine will also be given Rs 2,000.

"The government will bear the entire cost but if anybody jumps quarantine, criminal cases will be filed against them and strict directives have been issued to the superintendents of police to take immediate cognizance, he said.

The community surveillance conducted in 21,499 villages of the state found only 20,000 people suffering from fever which is "indeed a very positive health indicator and out of these 4,000 samples were tested, but no COVID-19 case was found and this is a very hopeful sign".

He said with the resumption of air travel, there will be more challenge as "we will have to deal with people coming in by three modes-roads, rail and air- but we will ensure strict quarantine of all".

More than 40,000 people have already entered the state by road and rail and another 12 lakh are waiting to come.

"We are not restricting people from coming back to their state, but an appeal to them to come in batches over a period of time, so that we can ensure proper quarantine facilities and prevent the spread of the disease to the community, the minister added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 22 2020. 00:02 IST