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Guwahati: In view of rising COVID-19 cases, the Assam government has widened the ambit of the ‘frontline worker’ category, allowing more people to be included in the 18-59 age bracket for booster doses at state-run vaccine centres.

The Assam Health & Family Welfare Department has now classified government employees, bank staff, media personnel, legal professionals and people in transport, energy, communication, medicine production and e-commerce sectors, as frontline workers to facilitate booster doses for them.

Issuing a set of detailed guidelines on June 4, which were made available to the media on Wednesday, Health & Family Welfare Department Principal Secretary Avinash P Joshi said the new categorisation was necessitated, as some people are likely to be at the highest risk to the virus, due to their professional duties.

“In the view of the steady increase of COVID-19 cases in few states, need is felt for widening the coverage of precaution dose amongst person(s) or group(s) of persons based on the work they perform, which is essential in nature or involves maintenance or crucial infrastructure and services,” he said.

Daily coronavirus infections in India were recorded above 5,000 after 93 days, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,31,90,282, while the active cases rose to 28,857, according to the Union Health Ministry.

At present, the third or booster dose is being administered at government centres for all healthcare and frontline workers along with senior citizens, while people in the 18-59 age group are administered the jabs at private units for a fee.

The new guidelines have categorised all government employees working in various departments in the districts, headquarters and state secretariat as frontline workers (FLWs).

Public and private bank staff have also been bracketed as FLWs, along with people connected with transport, communication, media, legal services and e-commerce for the booster doses.

Besides, the Assam government included people working in critical industries like oil and gas, coal, power and medicine production in the group of FLWs.

Vulnerable groups like street vendors, the transgender community and members of religious institutions like priests have also been listed as FLWs.

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