Celebrations to mark 200 years of Assam tea underway

Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his government is trying to increase the vaccination rate in the tea garden areas of the state, which have witnessed a spurt in COVID-19 cases.

Sarma also said steps are being taken to contain the spread of the virus in nine places that have reported rising number of infections – Biswanath, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup (Metro), Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Sonitpur and Sivasagar districts.

Out of these, seven districts have been categorised as total containment zones.

During the last 10 days, 2,430 cases have been reported in Golaghat, 1,899 in Kamrup Metro, 1,761 in Jorhat, 1,562 in Lakhimpur, 1,543 in Sonitpur, 1,122 in Dibrugarh, 1,005 in Sivasagar, 9,63 in Nagaon and 896 in Biswanath.

Officials said country liquor-producing units have emerged as major hotspots in these nine districts, and the chief minister has ordered the dismantling of all such units.

Sarma, who was part of the PM’s interaction with chief ministers of eight northeastern states through video conferencing on Tuesday, had earlier directed officials to deploy drones in these districts for monitoring locations where crowds tend to gather, and take preventive measures accordingly.

He urged Modi to increase the allotment of vaccines for Assam so that the state can achieve its inoculation target for the entire population at the earliest.

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The chief minister also informed the prime minister about the status of medical oxygen availability, ICU beds, isolation wards and other requirements, which are a part of the coronavirus treatment infrastructure in the state.

Sarma said his government was following the ‘Testing- Tracking-Treatment’ strategy, which has helped in arresting the spread of COVID-19 considerably by declaring more than 6,000 micro-containment zones, without opting for total lockdown.

This has simultaneously sustained both the economy and the fight against the pandemic, he said.

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