800 people arriving in Assam; govt drafts SOP

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Guwahati: The Assam Government on

Thursday drafted a Standard Operating Procedures for return of residents of the state from other parts of the country by trains, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

More than 800 passengers are arriving from New Delhi and Chennai on Thursday and Friday in Assam and “this will be a major challenge for us”, the minister said at a press conference here.

The New Delhi-Dibrugarh AC train is bringing 219 passengers to Assam while the first Krishak Shramik Express to the North East with Vairengte in Mizoram as the final destination will have 625 passengers for Assam, he said.

“We will have to handle more than 800 passengers, and tonight will be very challenging for us”, he said.

All train passengers to Assam, irrespective of their boarding stations, will be first put in institutional quarantine.

Symptomatic passengers will undergo detailed medical examination at the de-boarding station, and, if necessary, they will undergo isolated institutional quarantine facility at the de-boarding station. Otherwise, they will proceed for the institutional quarantine facility arranged by the Deputy Commissioner of destination district, according to the SOP.

Asymptomatic passengers will be handed over to representatives of destination districts for onward journey in officially provided vehicles to the district headquarters and then onwards to the institutional quarantine facilities.

However, pregnant women, citizens above 75, families with children below 10, disabled persons and those who have to attend funerals will be allowed home quarantine, provided they are asymptomatic.

Assam has reported 22 positive cases during the last 24 hours-15 on Wednesday and seven on Thursday, the minister said.

“I appeal to all not to panic but exercise caution and self-restraint, particularly those who had gone to the areas from where positive cases have been reported”, Sarma said.

The total number of positive cases in the state has risen to 86 with 43 active cases, one migrated out of the state, two deaths and 40 cured and discharged from the hospitals.

Seven people, including cancer patients and their attendants, who had come from Mumbai in a bus along with 136 others, tested positive on Thursday.

“Among the positive is a 13-year-old girl who underwent heart surgery and in a first such case, permission has been given to her mother who tested negative to stay with her as an attendant in the hospital room,” Sarma said.

The 15 people who tested positive on Wednesday were among the 32 contacts of a migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh, he said.

The swab tests of 340 direct and indirect contacts of these 15 positive persons have been taken and the results are awaited.

“If there are more positive cases from these contacts, the situation will be tough for us and we will have to take the help of mobile tower data to trace more people who visited the area”, he said.

Asked about the change in the status of Guwahati from the existing green zone, Sarma said that the state government has asked the Centre to allow “us not to follow the zone system but policy of containment and buffer zone so that economic activities in the other areas of the city are not affected”.

He said that the Guwahati Medical College Hospital which was closed for new patients following a post-graduate medical student testing positive last week, will reopen from tomorrow as more than two thousand samples of his contacts were tested and only two others were positive.

The GMCH is also installing a UV-ray machine, imported from Canada, to ensure no contamination.

“There are very few hospitals in the country with this facility. The installation is going on and us expected to be completed within the next ten days”, the minister added. -PTI

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