Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma urged the citizens to prepare for tough days ahead as the number of positive cases and fatalities due to novel coronavirus continue to surge in the country.
While replying to a tweet, Sarma said that the government is trying its best to release the salary of its employees, ensure the basic needs of poor and medicines in the hospitals.
“We have no fund in our coffer. Trying our best to release salary for may, basic needs of poor and medicines in hospital. We need to prepare for tough days ahead at least for few months,” Sarma wrote.
Assam Chief Minister, cabinet ministers and MLAs has decided to take 30 per cent pay cut for a period of one year to contribute towards the COVID-19 relief fund in the state.
The fund collected will be used for the treatment and management of COVID-19 in Assam.
The Assam government has released the full salary of around 5 lakh employees for the month of March. Earlier, the government was contemplating to hold back 20 per cent of the salaries in view of the COVID-19 crisis.
Sarma has earlier appealed to all government employees to help at least five poor families in their neighbourhood during the COVID-19 induced lockdown, which has taken a toll on the economy.
Assam has so far registered 34 positive coronavirus cases, out of which one died and 12 recovered.
On the other hand, citizens are continuing to donate to the Assam Arogya Nidhi fund to aid the government in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Till April 18th, 2020 evening, over 45,829 people have donated Rs 99.22 crore, a gesture Sarma said was unprecedented in his political career since 1991.
Photo credit: @himantabiswa