Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Credit: File image

Guwahati: Announcing that the ongoing battle against COVID-19 will take a decisive turn when the first train carrying passengers from New Delhi will reach Dibrugarh on Wednesday, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has requested the masses to cooperate with the government during this crucial juncture.

Quarantine facilities will be offered to those people who are coming from outside at different places like schools, colleges, anganwadi centres, etc, across Assam. So, these people should also be ready to make compromises on some of the facilities to be offered to them during the quarantine period, the minister said.

Addressing media persons, Sarma urged the people of Guwahati to maintain an extra bit of cautiousness as sources of some COVID-19 positive cases are yet to be traced.

“My humble request to people of Guwahati is to maintain an extra alert as sources of three, four cases of COVID-19 positive are yet to be traced. Except three, four cases, sources of all cases are known in state. Everyone’s cooperation is a must to win this battle against the COVID-19,” the minister said.

Announcing that the Centre has asked the state government not to test non-symptomatic persons, the minister said, “Nobody can predict anything at this juncture. We will give our best. Once these people reach Assam, then only a new scene will emerge. If we can control the situation, then only we can say that yes, we have been able to put a brake on the disease.”

He also refuted the allegations that the government of Assam has brought these people from outside the state. “Assam government has not brought anyone from other states. Our own brothers and sisters have returned to their own land,” he said, adding: “We have made some changes in the protocol. From now onwards, the home quarantine means the entire home will be declared as a containment zone. So is the case with those people living in apartments too.”

On the COVID-19 positive case which came to light in Guwahati on Monday, Sarma said that the person has been identified as Mangru Sahni (50).

“Sahni started showing symptoms of fever on May 5, and he came to GMCH on May 10. However, he gave his sample for COVID-19 testing on May 11 and he tested positive on May 12. There were 10 persons in direct contact with Sahni and 19 indirectly, including a doctor,” says Sarma, adding: Sahni lives in Aloopatty area of Fancy Bazar, but originally hails from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. He has been residing here for work purposes.

Informing that the state government has been able to test over 20,000 samples, Sarma also said that there are 1,113 samples pending for testing across various labs in Assam.

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