The government does not have adequate medical staff to attend home quarantined patients if there is an emergency, says Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati: Announcing that the state health department does not have adequate staff to monitor home quarantine of COVID-19 positive patients, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that chances of the virus spreading in a house which has a common toilet is “99.9 per cent”.

“There have been questions raised why can’t we home quarantine mildly symptomatic patients. Yes, in houses of some we can… where there are individual toilets. But in Guwahati, we are getting maximum cases from places like Pandu, Dhirenpara, police barracks, etc. We can’t keep them under home quarantine because they share common toilets,” Sarma said.

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However, even if there are separate toilets in a house, the government does not have adequate medical staff to attend the patients, if there is an emergency, he added.

“We do not have adequate medical staff to evacuate a patient immediately on a call if his condition deteriorates. In a Covid care centre, the patient is under care round-the-clock,” he claimed.

Earlier on Wednesday, minister Sarma inaugurated a 900-bed COVID-19 hospital at Khanapara field in Guwahati. This comes as a necessity, as the city has been constantly reporting a substantial number of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.

With the new facility, Guwahati’s bed capacity has increased to 1,538 for COVID-19 patients. The new facility has individual rooms with attached toilets, which will help in avoiding the spread of the highly contagious disease, against facilities with common toilets.

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The state government is also planning to set up a 450-bed COVID19 care hospital at Maniram Dewan Trade Centre, Guwahati, which will be functional soon.

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