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    COVID19 Scare: Guwahati eyes at Unlock 1.0

    Minimum 3 lakh city denizens’ test is a must to get a clear picture, says Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

    Guwahati: Assam’s capital city of Guwahati may have to wait until the end of August to become normal again. Hinting at it, state health minister Himnata Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that the COVID19 situation in the city will only be clear after the health department conducts at least three lakh tests in the city.

    The city, currently undergoing a lockdown, was expecting to resume its business from next week when the lockdown would be over on July 19.

    Sarma said, “It will not happen at one go but in phase-wise. There will be Unlock 1 first with more relaxation and conditions. I believe by the end of August, things should be normal again.”  

    In support of the view, the health minister added, “Since Guwahati has a population of around 10-11 lakh people, we need to conduct COVID19 test upon at least three lakh people to get a clear picture. So far we have conducted round 1.10 lakh tests and situation is still critical.”

    He observed that the ongoing lockdown could not yield desired results. “We thought the lockdown will arrest the pandemic in the city but though the infection rate has reduced; it’s still very high.”

    The city has so far recorded over 6000 COVID19 positive cases and 25 deaths. Assam COVID19count till filling of this report was 19754 with 48 deaths.

    Sarma said that the health department will set up 60 more sample collection centres in the city to accelerate the testing process. The city already has 30 centres functioning in each Ward here.

    “There will be a total 90 collection centres for swab collection. Besides, tests will be conducted on people from all business establishments, shops, and private and government offices randomly,” said the minister adding that the state government will recruit fresh technicians within a week for the job.

    The health department has also ordered all nursing homes to install COVID 19 testing machine within 15 days.

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