Tinsukia: Twenty-six persons, including 24 students and a watchman from a residential school in Tinsukia, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The development comes just a day after the Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that “there is no COVID-19 in Assam” and “wearing of masks was not necessary for the citizens”.

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Confirming the development, a source in the district administration said the new cases include 25 from the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya school, and a returnee from another state. “We had collected 43 RT-PCR samples from the school, of those who had tested negative during Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), out of which 24 female students and a watchman have tested positive.”

Located on the outskirts of Tinsukia town, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya school made headlines on March 26 after 34 students, one matron, and a cook tested positive for COVID-19.

Sources said, “The IDSP cell of the health department swung into action and conducted 87 tests in the school campus after the matron of the school tested positive.”

Out of 87, 34 students and a cook tested positive then. “This prompted the authorities to conduct RT-PCR tests of all the 43 persons who tested negative in RAT,” the source added.

A source said they were waiting for the list from Mohanbari airport to figure out the state from which the person, who tested positive at the airport, was returning.

Two days ago, three persons returning from Kolkata via an Indigo flight tested positive during testing at Mohanbari airport.

Tinsukia district has so far witnessed 8,073 COVID-19 cases, out of which 63 are active.

On April 3, Assam’s Health and Family Welfare Department had issued an order making it mandatory for air and train passengers from Maharashtra and Karnataka to carry a negative RT-PCR report given the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

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