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No Covid-19 case in Assam in last seven days — Health minister

By PTI Updated: Apr 23, 2020 12:30 am
Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati, April 22 (PTI): Assam has reported no new Covid-19 case for the seventh consecutive day, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday, hoping the state would not have any active case till May 1 if people followed social distancing norm diligently.

The state currently has 14 active coronavirus cases, out of the 34 people who tested positive and one died, while 19 have been cured and released from hospitals, he said at a press conference.

Two persons, hailing from Morigaon district, had tested positive for coronavirus on April 16. Both were secondary contacts of persons who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz.

After the duo tested positive, the samples of Morigaon Deputy Commissioner Rituraj Bora and Superintendent of Police Swapnaneel Deka were tested as they had come in contact with them, but they were found negative. The officials are currently in home quarantine.

In Assam, 33 of the 34 who tested positive are related to the Tablighi Jamaat event which has emerged as a major hotspot for the disease in the country.

“There has been no positive case for the last seven days. We hope by May one, there should be no active case in Assam, provided people maintain social distance, the health minister said.

He, however, pointed that there have been cases of people not maintaining physical distance from each other and this may lead to fresh positive cases.

The total number of tests conducted in the six laboratories of the state so far are 5,789, with 34 testing positive, 214 results awaited and the remaining were found to be negative, Sarma said.

Besides Assam, tests were also conducted of some patients hailing from neighbouring Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, he added.

The death rate due to Covid-19 in the state is 2.94 per cent as against 3.3 per cent at the national level and the global average of 7 per cent, the minister said.

The state currently has 9,960 rapid testing kits, but the tests which were scheduled to begin on Wednesday have been postponed following the ICMR directive.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had on Tuesday advised states to stop using the rapid antibody test kits for next two days till it examines their quality in the wake of complaints that they are not fully effective.

“We are ready to begin testing as soon as we get the official communication, Sarma said.

There are nearly one lakh test kits with the suppliers at New Delhi and it will be made available to us when we require it, he said.

The minister added that there are nearly 2 lakh personal protective equipment (PPE), 83,000 N95 masks and over 70 lakh triple layer masks in the state.

By PTI Updated: Apr 23, 2020 12:30:11 am