GUWAHATI: The State government has no plan to impose another lockdown on account of COVID-19, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.
Addressing the media on the sidelines of an event organised by the BJP at its head office here to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sarma said, “There is no possibility of lockdown because the number of new cases daily in Assam has now gone below the 100-mark. Even the 90-95 new cases being diagnosed daily now are of a kind where members of the same family have been affected or are among people who have arrived by flight or train. So Assam is now COVID free to a large extent,” he said.
The Health Minister said that “tough screening” will, however, continue at airports and railway stations of the State.
He said that one person who recently arrived in the State from the UK has been found to be COVID-positive.
“A mutant variant has been found in the UK. Due to that, high alert has been issued in India, especially to check people coming from the UK. Special arrangements have been made to screen them. In Assam, COVID-19 has been found in the body of one person who recently arrived from Britain. After the test, the sample of the person has been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV). We want to find out if the virus found in that person’s body is of the new strain or of the existing and prevalent variety,” he said.
“We will be able to inform the media about it once the report comes from the NIV,” Sarma added.
In the last 15 days, 72 people arrived in the State from the UK and only one person tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Sarma called upon the people not to engage in speculation and not to be apprehensive.
“From January 1, our schools and colleges will resume on a regular basis. Even primary schools will be reopened from January 1. So, as of now, we have no plans for another lockdown. However, if in future the number of COVID-19 cases increase in India, then appropriate decision will be taken at that time. But Central government experts have now discounted the possibility of a second wave. We want to resume normal life from January 1. There should be no hindrance in that effort. So it is better not to create any fear or anxiety in the minds of the people,” Sarma said.
Source: The Assam Tribune.