Covid-19: Surge in Assam, respite in remaining NE states


  After a few days of respite, Assam recorded five new coronavirus cases on Thursday and seven cases in 48 hours taking the state’s total count to 42, though only 12 of them are active.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the media that four more Covid-19 positive cases (including two women) were reported from Bongaingaon district (in western Assam) and one was found in Karimganj (southern Assam) on Thursday.

“The number of Covid-19 positive cases found so far in Assam now stands at 42 with one death and 29 recovered from the disease and discharged from the hospital. Currently, the state’s active cases are 12, who are undergoing treatments in various medical colleges and hospitals,” he said.

According to the Assam health officials, the sources of the diseases of the four fresh cases in Bongaingaon district are not yet known.

Assam’s total positive case of 42 exclude a 33-year-old trader from Nagaland’s Dimapur who is undergoing treatment at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) since April 12 after he tested positive for coronavirus.

Sarma also told the media that most of the patients undergoing treatments in various medical colleges and hospitals are expected to be released within few days.

Out of the five ‘red zone’ districts, Golaghat and Nalbari are expected to come out of the zone over the next few days.

Of Assam’s 42 cases, 37 people directly or indirectly participated in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat congregation last month while one patient, with a history of foreign travel, died in southern Assam on April 10.

The first patient to test positive for coronavirus in Assam – 57-year-old ex-trooper of Border Security Force, who was detected on March 31, is still undergoing treatment at Silchar Medical College and Hospital. He is a cancer patient too.

The dreaded disease has already been tamed in other seven states of northeastern states.

While no cases have been reported from Sikkim and Nagaland, three other states – Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura become coronavirus free.

In Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Thursday tweeted: “All 8 family members (out of 11 active cases) ….. are found negative in the second tests.”

The state government also declared 10 of its 11 districts as ‘green zones’ and allowed inter-district movement as no Covid-19 case was reported from these 10 districts.

All the 12 coronavirus positive cases, including of a senior doctor who subsequently died, have been reported in capital city Shillong that falls under East Khasi Hills district.

“All Deputy Commissioners in the green zones may allow inter-district movement, provided that both district of origin and destination are in the green zone. No transit movement would be allowed,” Political Department Secretary C.V.D. Diengdoh said in a letter to the Deputy Commissioners.

In Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh Health Minister Alo Libang on Thursday launched the state’s first laboratory at a hospital in Naharlagun for conducting tests of samples, making it the sixth state in northeastern region after Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to have such testing facilities.

Libang said the works are going on for strengthening infrastructure at 10 hospitals across Arunachal Pradesh, bordering China.

In Agartala, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, whol also holds the Health Department, after holding an all party meeting, said the state government is not considering complete withdrawal of the ongoing lockdown in near future but has been providing relaxations on restrictions in certain areas in a phased manner.

Deb, who last week announced Tripura as coronavirus free, said in a tweet “Wearing of face cover mask is compulsory in Govt PSUs, offices as well as public places. Anyone found violating the norm will be fined Rs 100 for first offence and Rs 200 for subsequent offence.”
(IANS)Guwahati/Shillong, April 30