Assam to ease Covid curbs from June 15: CM
Times of India, 11 June 2021
GUWAHATI: The Assam government would relax Covid restrictions partially from June 15, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said while inaugurating the 300-bed Covid Care hospital built with support from the DRDO at the Sarusajai Sports Complex here on Thursday.
“We will initiate some measures from June 15. It will be more on a scientific pattern and after looking into the districtwise positivity rate,” Sarma added.
The Covid positivity rate is hovering around 3% in Assam at present.
The CM said the districts performing better and showing more improvement in Covid scenario will get the relaxations earlier. “Low-performing districts may have to be in the lockdown atmosphere for a few more days. We can’t withdraw restrictions everywhere simultaneously because we have to save lives,” he added.
Instead of going for a total lockdown, Assam had imposed strict restrictions mainly to provide relief to the daily wage earners. “Assam is the only state which has fought the second wave of Covid-19 without total lockdown. The Covid situation would have improved further had there been a toal lockdown in the state. But we kept in mind the livelihood options of the people and tried to fight with Covid in a balanced way,” Sarma said.
The CM added that Silchar town will be a focussed area of vaccination drive because of the higher number of positive cases there. “The health department is trying to finish administering the first dose in Nagaon, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Tezpur in the next 10 days,” Sarma said. Sarma was hopeful that the Covid statistics would get better as these towns have mostly contributed to the total number of positive cases of late.
“In Guwahati city, the vaccination has touched the six-lakh mark. Within 10 days, our target is to touch eight lakh vaccinations,” he added.
Sarma said there would be no let-up on the part of the Assam government as far as third wave speculations are concerned. “To get prepared to deal with the third wave, we are planning to complete 1,000 paediatrics ICUs soon,” he added.
Coinciding with the 30-days completion of the state government, Sarma dedicated the Covid Care Hospital at Sarusajai to the service of the people in the presence of health minister Keshab Mahanta.
The new hospital with a project cost of Rs 21.46 crores will function as an annexe to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). Oil India Limited and ICICI Bank have extended financial support to the tune of Rs 2 crore and Rs 1.5 crore respectively for accomplishment of the project. He also thanked the DRDO for setting up the hospital within a record period of around 20 days and for having been a generous partner in this critical project and termed it as a fine example of Centre-state collaboration.
Stating that the hospital will have a life span of five years, which can be further extended with minimum infrastructure boost up, Sarma said there will be 100 ICU beds available in the hospital and oxygen facility could also be made available in another 200 beds. Moreover, liquid oxygen tank has been set up to provide a continuous supply of oxygen to patients which will be refilled weekly.
The CM further added that from now on, treatment of Covid patients will be gradually reduced at MMCH and Singimari hospital and patients will be taken care of at GMCH and the Covid Care Hospital at Sarusajai.
The CM said that during the last 30 days, 465 ICU beds, including beds with ventilation facility, and 2684 oxygen-supported beds were added in the medical institutions. Moreover, 200 ICU beds at the GMCH will be made functional in the next ten days, he informed, adding that the government is working to set up at least 15 ICU beds in every district hospital.
Commemorating the day, Sarma also inaugurated a 20-bed ICU and 32 oxygen-supported beds at the Kalapahar Covid Care Hospital in the city.