Combating Covid-19: 1,003 People in Home Quarantine, 41 in Isolation Units in Assam

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Combating Covid-19: 1,003 People in Home Quarantine, 41 in Isolation Units in Assam

Saumya Mishra | March 21, 2020 11:00 hrs

Till now the Assam government has sent 1,003 people to home quarantine in the state to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). These essentially consist of people who have returned to Assam from coronavirus-affected places.   

This apart, 41 people who have shown symptoms similar to that of COVID-19, have been kept in isolation units of different hospitals in the state. 

“Out of the 1,003 people who were sent to home quarantine, 164 have completed the 28 day mandatory home quarantine period and have shown no symptoms and are now out of home quarantine,” informed the minister. 
             
It is to be mentioned that no positive case of the virus has been found in Assam till now.   

The minister said that till now 57 samples have been tested from people showing symptoms of coronavirus and all have tested negative. 

A total of 39 tests were conducted in Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), 11 cases were tested in Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Lahowal, 3 cases were tested in Jorhat Medical College & Hospital (JMCH) and 2 in Silchar Medical College. All have tested negative.

“It is the responsibility of the parents as well as family members to ensure that anyone who has returned from a coronavirus-affected state should be home quarantined for at least 14 days in a room,” said Sarma adding that during this time the family members should monitor the health of the person and if they see any symptoms similar to that of coronavirus, then they should informed the health department.  
         
Further, till now 16,508 people have been screened so far in different airports of Assam. Apart from this, at different places including the railway stations and places with contact tracing, we have screened 62,870 more people have been screened at the primary level. 

The minster informed that currently there are four COVID-19 testing centres in the state.  

Additionally, doctors, nurses, paramedics, teachers and anganwadi workers are creating sensitisation and conducting awareness drive against coronavirus in villages of the state.  

Hand stamps for quarantine on all incoming passengers at railway stations, airports 
The Assam government will provide home quarantine stamps on the hands of all incoming passengers from coronavirus affected states at railway stations and airports in Assam from Monday, March 23 onwards. 

“All passengers who will enter Assam from states affected by coronavirus, will be stamped at railway stations and airports. Their stamp will say that I volunteer to be at home for 14 days since Assam needs social distancing,” said Sarma. 

It is to be mentioned that this practise is already ongoing in Mumbai. The government has taken the decision to improve social distancing and to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.

“The society can put pressure if they see a person with a stamp for home quarantine roaming outside,” said the minister. 


Crowded places like Fancy Bazar, Machkhowa to be assessed for 48 hrs

Additionally, the state government will assess crowded places like Fancy Bazar, Machkhowa, Hatigaon for the next 48 hours and if need be, the government will shut down these places, said state health and family welfare minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma in a press conference held on March 20.  

However, the shutdown will not apply to those shops and commercial establishments which deal with essential commodities. 

“We will monitor the situation in these places for the next day or two and I request people to decongest these areas on their own so that we don’t have to close down,” stated the minister in a bid to improve social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.


Assamese people stuck outside country to be given $2000 

In a relief measure, the state government will provide $ 2000 to Assamese persons stuck out of the country.   

“Those who have travelled outside the country in the last 30 days for various reasons for attending seminars, exchange students, business related work and even tourists and are not being able to return to Assam as airlines have shut down, they will each be given 2,000 dollars in their respective accounts,” said sate health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.  

He added that for this, an email id will be published in the newspaper on March 22.
“Those stuck outside can mail on this email Id, their passport will be checked and they will be provided with the money.”  
          
He mentioned that $2000 is an initial amount and the government will decided on the future course depending on the situation.

“People from Assam whose visas and passports have expired and people are stuck outside, they too can notify the government on the email id and the concerned Indian embassy in the country will be notified,” stated the minister.


Citizens need to be careful till April 5: HBS

The next two weeks will be very critical to maintain social distancing and monitor the coronavirus situation in Assam, said the health minister. 
   
He said that maximum people from Assam who were outside the state have returned to the state till now. “If we suppose that by March 22, all those travelling abroad have returned to the state, then from March 22, next 14 days will be very critical for us,” mentioned the minister. 

“By now, the number of incoming passengers has reduced significantly. If we find no positive cases in the state till the next two weeks, then we might be able to say that we have broken the chain,” said Sarma.


Employees in Assam govt offices to work from home on rotation basis 
 

From Saturday March 21 onwards only 50 per cent employees will come to office on a rotation basis in all government offices in Assam till March 31, in a bid to improve social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  

This was announced by state health and family welfare minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma in a press meet on March 20. He said that the rest 50 per cent of the employees will work from home. 
 
“At any given point of time, only 50 per cent employees will be present in office and the rest will work from home,” said Sarma.

Further, he added that it will be the discretion of the head of the office to decide on the rotation.  

However, he added that this will not apply to those employed in essential services including the health department, fire brigade and water department.


All examinations stand postponed till March 31

State health and family welfare minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday that all exams in the state stand postponed till March 31 to contain the coronavirus spread in Assam and to ensure social distancing.

These will include all Board examinations, examinations of all government and private schools as well as examinations of all state universities stand cancelled till March 31, said the minister in a press meet on March 20.


Govt to limit customer footfall in shopping malls, shops

Shopping malls across the state would be given advisories to limit the number of people which they can host at a given point of time.

The number of visitors allowed will depend on the respective sizes of the shops, said the minister.

“Further every shop in and outside the shopping malls are advised only to let 50 people including the staff at a given point. The number may vary as per the size of the shop and directives would soon be issued,” stated Sarma. 

 


All govt offices to mandatorily use hand sanitizer
 

All Assam government offices will have to mandatorily use hand sanitizers in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The health minister said, "We have asked the government offices they should buy reasonable amount of hand sanitizers, soaps and towels. In the procurement of these essential items, the finance department will not insist on any bill."

He added that these essentials items should be kept in government offices so that any visitor who comes to the office can be given this facility.

Shops not providing soaps/sanitizes for customers to be shut down

Assam State Health and family welfare minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that all in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state, all shops which do not provide soap and water, or hand sanitizers for customers and staff will be shut down in Assam.

In an appeal to all shopkeepers, the minister said that the shopkeepers will have to keep at least soap and water for hand washing as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus in the state. 

“All shops will have to provide soap and water or hand sanitizer otherwise we will shut down,” said Sarma.

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