Guwahati: In the wake of increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Guwahati, Assam government will conduct 50,000 tests in the city in the next 15 days.

Addressing a press meet, state health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that in Guwahati, there are 25 cases without any travel history and their source of infection has not yet been determined.

These 50,000 tests “will help us in breaking the chain” of the infection, said the minister. Further, the result of these tests will determine whether Guwahati will go for a second lockdown or not. “If we find sizeable positive cases after 50,000 tests, then maybe we will implement a second lockdown in the city,” said Sarma.

To facilitate the testings, from June 16, 12 hospitals will have COVID-19 testing centres across the city, including testing provisions at Gauhati Medical College & Hospital, and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital.

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Himanta informed that the government’s prime focus of testing will be on 159 godowns which are the loading and unloading zones, truck parking areas, petrol pumps, weigh bridge and dhabas. Also, the health department will be contacting pharmacies for details of people buying medicine for fever in the next few days. Such people maybe tested for COVID-19 if required.

Also, the state has requested Union ministry of civil aviation to cap the number of inbound flights to Guwahati at 25 per day, as it gets difficult to maintain social distancing with higher number of flights.

COVID-19 tests

Himanta informed that Assam has achieved the feat of conducting 2,01,503 COVID-19 tests as on Saturday late afternoon. This target has been achieved 2 days prior to the set date of June 15 to complete 2 lakh tests. Further, the state aims to conduct a total of 3 lakh tests by June 30.

All these tests have been conducted in RT-PCR machines, he added.

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The rate of test per million in Assam is 5,744, which is higher than states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha etc.

Assam currently has 11 working labs for conducting COVID-19 tests, and one more testing lab will be inaugurated at GMCH on Monday.

The state has reported 3718 COVID-19 cases of which 1923 are active, 1784 discharged, 8 deaths and 3 have migrated to other states.

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