Over 20K COVID cases in Assam now, death toll 50

Guwahati: Assam crossed the 20,000 mark with 892 new COVID-19 cases and the death toll due to the infection reached 50 with two deaths on Thursday, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

The total positive cases in the state reached 20,646 and out of the new cases, 598 patients are from Kamrup Metropolitan district which include 184 from Guwahati Central Jail, the minister said.

Two male COVID-19 patients, aged 63 and 50 years and hailing from Kamrup Metropolitan district and Baksa respectively, died due to the infection, taking the total death toll in the state due to the disease to 50.

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“Disheartening to let you know that we lost two precious lives today to #COVID19. My condolences to their bereaved families and friends”, the minister tweeted.

A 93-year-old woman was among 666 patients who were released from different hospitals, taking the total number of discharged patients to 13,554 in the state, he said.

The woman was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital and was released Thursday after having “firmly defeated coronavirus,” the minister said.

“At times, we get opportunity to smile amid adversity too! An incredible story also of competence of our doctors who handled this delicate case with finest precision,” he tweeted.

Assam reached the 20,646 COVID-19 positive mark in 108 days with the first case reported on March 31. More than 12,000 cases were detected in the last one month.

Out of the 20,646 positive patients in the state, there are 7,039 active cases, 13,554 have recovered, 50 have died and three migrated out of the state.

The community transmission of coronavirus in Guwahati city — 8,256 positive cases so far since June 24 — was likely to return to a normal level by the end of August, he said.

The situation in the city, which falls under Kamrup Metropolitan district and is under complete lockdown since June 28, is still critical and more testing was required to bring it under control, the minister said while addressing a press conference in the evening.

“We will have to conduct more than three lakh tests in Guwahati city alone as testing and tracking was the sure way to control the situation,” he said.

So far 1,10,000 people have been tested in the city in 31 COVID screening centres but “it has been decided to intensify the process by setting up 60 new screening centres, taking the total to more than 90, Sarma said.

The lockdown in the city is not giving the desired result as large number of people from the police, para-military forces, jails and from places where there is community living are testing positive, the minister said.

In Assam, 726 police personnel have tested positive so far and 350 have recovered with 20 of them joining duty, while in Guwahati Central Jail 240 persons have tested positive.

The situation in Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Golaghat and Silchar were also causing concern with rising cases but the situation in the other district were stable.

The state crossed the six lakh mark in testing, reaching the total of 6,01,385 samples so far, the minister said.

Meanwhile, the state government has decided to launch a nation-wide campaign for plasma donation by recovered COVID-19 patients from other states to the Assam Plasma Bank, he said.

In many states, there are no plasma banks and so recovered symptomatic patients from other states can come to Assam and donate plasma for the treatment of other positive patients here, the minister said.

“We will launch a nation-wide publicity campaign and those from other states desiring to donate plasma will be accorded the state guest status, along with to and fro flight tickets and staying facilities”, he said.

In Assam, there were few COVID-19 cases during the initial stages and as such the number of plasma donors is less now but with the increase in positive cases, there will be more donors from the next month, Sarma added.

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