Tinsukia: Eleven students of DCB Girls’ College in Assam‘s Jorhat town have tested positive for COVID-19, setting the alarm bells ringing and indicating a gradual rise in cases of the novel coronavirus in various parts of the state.

The development comes on the backdrop of India facing a second wave of COVID-19, recording over 1 lakh cases on Tuesday and at a time when around 60 students tested positive for COVID-19 at a residential school in Tinsukia.

Confirming the development, Jorhat deputy commissioner Roshani A Korati said that 11 out of 138 students of DCB Girls’ College have tested positive for COVID-19. “Altogether, 19 positive cases were detected on Tuesday,” she added.

According to sources, three of the infected students were to appear for semester examination and have been kept in the isolation ward of the hostel from where they will take the examinations.

The remaining girls have been isolated at their homes. Sources added: “Testing centres have been opened at major colleges.”

In Jorhat district, so far a total of 12,426 cases of COVID-19 have been detected, of which 38 are active cases. The death count for the district stands at 71.

In the meantime, the district administration of neighbouring Sivasagar district has issued an order making it compulsory for all citizens to wear masks in public places, work place, markets, public vehicles, etc. The order dated April 6 states that social distancing is to be followed as per norms and spitting in public places is strictly prohibited.

“Any violation will be dealt with provisions of Section 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action as per Section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions applicable,” the order read.

A copy of the order

The order came within days after 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” and why to create unnecessary panic. Sarma went on to say that he will inform the people to wear masks when the need arises. For now, he needs to revive the economy and if one wears mask, how will beauty parlours operate, he had said.

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