Assam eyes containment in Kamrup Metro wards reporting high COVID cases

GUWAHATI, May 4: Alarmed over the surge in COVID-19 positive cases in Kamrup Metropolitan district, the Assam government has directed the district administration to conduct a study to detect wards reporting the highest number of cases and ascertain the cause of high incidence.

On Monday, Assam reported as many as 4489 COVID positive cases with an overall positivity percentage of 8.02. Kamrup Metropolitan district alone reported 1645 cases.

Besides, what’s even more worrying is the increasing fatalities in the state which reported 29 deaths on Monday.

Speaking to reporters after taking stock of the situation at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Tuesday, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said wards reporting more than the city’s average number of cases every day would be converted into containment zones so as to reduce the patient load on hospitals.

“The COVID-19 situation in the state has taken a turn for the worse since May 1, 2021. The positivity rate has increased while cases have been shooting up by 1000 to 1500 cases every day. So if the rate continues for another two weeks, the hospitals will not have any space to accommodate patients,” Sarma warned.

The health minister said that there were very few ICU beds left in the old building of GMCH.

“But from Tuesday, COVID patients will be admitted to the new super specialty block. So we will have 270 additional ICU beds. We will have a meeting in regard to the current COVID situation and the measures to contain the situation,” he said.

Asked whether a lockdown was in the cards, Sarma said if the wards reporting high incidence of COVID cases in the city were identified and subsequent containment measures helped tackle the situation, then a lockdown would not be required.

“Lockdown is only required when the hospital beds cannot support further admission of patients,” he added, while requesting people to be more careful and to cooperate with the government.

The health minister further informed that 760 MBBS doctors would be immediately appointed in the medical colleges and district hospitals of the state.

“They will be engaged in the COVID Care Centres in lieu of the rural postings,” he added.

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