Fear of Triple Mutant ‘Bengal Strain’ COVID: Assam Focuses on Borders
GUWAHATI: With Covid numbers shooting up rapidly in the state, the government has decided to put an extra focus on the Assam-Bengal borders.
The recent discovery of the “Bengal strain” of the coronavirus, as a scientist has dubbed it, might be more infective, and may be capable of escaping a person’s immune surveillance even if vaccinated. There has, however, been no research yet to either corroborate or dismiss the fears.
Nevertheless, the state government without taking any chances has asked the deputy commissioners (DCs) of all the lower Assam especially those bordering with Bengal to keep a sharp eye on the incomers across the borders.
On Tuesday, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal asked all the DCs to ensure COVID testing for people coming from other states.
“Sonowal also took stock of the testing facilities being done at the inter-state gates at Srirampur and Chagalia. He also asked the DCs of Kokrajhar and Dhubri to have constant surveillance on the testing activities. He also asked DC Kokrajhar to get the testing done on all the passengers disembark at Kokrajhar Rly station,” said Sonowal’s office.
He also asked them to ensure that no person from outside the state can creep in without the COVID test done.
Taking stock of the COVID 19 situation of the Lower Assam districts of Goalpara, Dhubri, South Salmara Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar and Chirang in Goalpara today, the CM asked the DCs to be proactive in taking new steps to contain the surging cases of COVID 19 pandemic.
“He said that in view of the second wave of the pandemic which has taken a serious proportion in some of the parts of the country, Assam should be proactively dealing with the situation to reduce the fatality of the pandemic. Stating the severity of the infection, Sonowal asked the DCs to ramp up COVID treatment facilities like hospital beds, ICU, ventilation infrastructure etc,” said the CMO.
Sonowal asked the DCs to streamline the oxygen supply and its storage facilities in their districts. He also asked them to explore the possibilities of setting up oxygen plants in the districts. With regard to the home isolations and home quarantines of the COVID positive cases, he asked the DCs to depute government officials to visit such places at least twice a day to enquire about the health status of the COVID patients and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour.
He also asked the DCs to ensure that taking advantage of the situation, nobody can create an artificial shortage of essential commodities and no trader can rise the price of the essential commodities.
On Tuesday, Assam registered 3132 fresh cases at a very high 5% positivity rate. There were 18 deaths. The city recorded 1313 new cases.