Assam government decides to initiate total lockdown in Guwahati

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GUWAHATI: With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city, many of them without travel history, the state government has decided to initiate a ward wise lockdown.

Each of the 33 wards will have a makeshift hospital; Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the state has conducted nearly three lakh tests.

“The spike is due to the fact that we are doing more, on June 13 we conducted two lakh tests and in the span of nine days, roughly one lakh tests were accomplished,” Sarma said.

The Health Minister added that tests per million in Assam now stood at 8,229.

“Assam is now among the top six states of the country; in the same league as Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat,” he added.

The Minister said around 2.43 lakh people who travelled from different states to Assam have been quarantined.

“After June 23, there will no Shramik Express trains so the pressure on quarantine will lessen,” Sarma said.

The area of concern is, however, the 144 cases in Guwahati without travel history.

“On Sunday we registered around 100 cases in Guwahati and this is a matter of concern for us. The common cause of these positive cases is the Fancy Bazar,” the Minister said.

“Most of the cases are among the employees working in the Fancy Bazar, or those who have visited or those who went there for marketing. To combat this situation we have suggested to Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metro) to initiate ward wise lockdown,” he added.

He added that the total lockdown may be for seven days and could be extended to 14 days.

“From 12 screening centers we have decided to increase the same to 33 which will encompass all the 33 wards of the city. Nearly 100 machines have been ordered. Besides Guwahati Medical College & Hospital and Mahendra Mohan Choudhary Hospital, around 31 makeshift hospitals will come up. We have also decided to convert quarantine camps into hospitals for COVID-19 treatment,” Sarma said.

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