Sonowal reviews COVID situation; DCs asked to take steps to curb price rise

GUWAHATI, May 6: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday comprehensively reviewed various aspects of response to the COVID-19 situation in the state through a video conference with officials of the district, police and state health department here.

Deputy commissioners, superintendents of police, principals of medical colleges, joint directors of health of various districts along with senior officials took part in the review meeting.

Sonowal also discussed the situation with state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over phone.

 Assam has over the past one week reported a substantial rise in COVID cases along with a steadily increasing number of fatalities.

The state reported as many as 4826 COVID positive cases on Wednesday with 55 deaths and an overall positivity rate of 9.27 percent.

“I have directed the deputy commissioners to make regular visits to hospitals and review infrastructure and facilities provided to COVID-19 patients,” the chief minister informed.

He also asked the deputy commissioners to check whether medicine supplied by the government was adequately available in the hospitals.

Officials were also directed to create awareness regarding COVID-19 in their respective districts among the people and enforce COVID appropriate behaviour.

“Further, the officials were also directed to regularly sanitise weekly markets and check price rise of essential medicine, along with other essential commodities,” Sonowal said, adding that the DCs have been asked to fix rates of essential commodities in consultation with the chambers of commerce.

“I have also urged district administration officials to hold discussions with Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) to ensure uninterrupted electricity,” he said.

The officials were also directed to create necessary awareness regarding COVID in the tea garden areas and to take joint measures in consultation with tea garden management to control the spread of the virus.

The DCs, while taking part in the video conference, informed the chief minister about the measures taken in their respective districts for control and treatment of COVID-19 patients, including vaccination, setting up of COVID care centres, availability of ICU beds, oxygen, etc.

The superintendents of the medical colleges informed the chief minister about the steps taken for strengthening infrastructure for COVID treatment in the medical colleges.

The joint directors of health services also apprised the chief minister about various steps taken by the department.

State principal secretary (health and family welfare), Sameer Kumar Sinha, while attending the video conference, informed the chief minister about the present status of COVID-19 patients, availability of oxygen and its storage capacity, ICU beds, tests, etc.

The chief minister asked the principal secretary to prepare a road map to ensure availability of oxygen to meet any COVID related emergency situation.

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