Assam logs 1,579 new COVID-19 cases; state to deploy drones on high positivity areas

As many as 2,793 people were cured of the disease during the day, taking the total number of recoveries to 5,07,516, according to a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission (NHM).
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (Photo | PTI)
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (Photo | PTI)

GUWAHATI: Assam on Sunday reported 16 more COVID-19 deaths, which took the toll to 4,828, pushing the total number of infections to 5,33,663, according to a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission (NHM).

The coronavirus caseload in the northeastern state mounted to 5,33,663 as 1,579 more people tested positive for the infection.

The bulletin said, 1,347 more COVID-19 patients have died till now, but the government's Death Audit Board has not included them in the tally of deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus as they had other ailments too.

Currently, the state has 19.972 active COVID-19 cases.

As many as 2,793 people were cured of the disease during the day, taking the total number of recoveries to 5,07,516, it said.

With the detection of 1,579 COVID-19 cases against the testing of 97,257 samples on Sunday, Assam has reported a positivity rate of 1.62 per cent for the day, the NHM daily bulletin said.

The state had reported 2,391 coronavirus positive cases on Saturday against the testing of 1,33,308 samples.

The overall positivity rate stands at 3.31 per cent against the total testing of 1,61,01,315 samples thus far.

The bulletin said altogether 80,08,593 people have been inoculated in Assam, with 13,51,729 of them having received both doses of the vaccine.

A total of 1,03,256 people were vaccinated on Sunday, down from 1,18,078 on Saturday.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday asked officials to deploy drones in nine districts of the state which have high COVID-19 positivity rates for monitoring locations where crowds tend to gather so that preventive measures can be taken.

He also asked senior officers to visit villages to create awareness among the people, while also ensuring strict compliance of COVID-safety protocols, including curfew.

After a detailed review of the pandemic situation through video conference with DCs, SPs and other senior health officials of these nine districts, Sarma asked the district authorities to identify assembly points and strictly enforce containment measures in the districts.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Keshab Mahanta was also present at the review, conducted for Biswanath, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup (Metro), Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Sonitpur and Sivasagar districts.

Of these nine districts, Dibrugarh and Nagaon have curfew imposed from 2 pm to 5 am, and Kamrup (M) from 5 pm to 5 am currently.

The rest of the districts are under total containment norms.

The chief minister directed the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs) to extensively move around their districts to ensure strict enforcement of all guidelines, besides sector-wise allotment of duties among magistrates for monitoring.

He also asked to conduct monitoring through drones to identify places where people are coming out in large numbers so that necessary steps could be taken.

Sarma further directed to undertake round-the-clock monitoring of district borders and roads to stop any trespass as inter-district movement is suspended in the state as a COVID-19 control measure.

He also stressed on intensifying vaccination in all the districts.

The chief minister further directed to entrust senior officers to visit the villages where assembly of people are taking place in markets to dissuade them from coming out and ensuring that shops remain shut in the locality in case the district is under total containment.

He also said Circle Officers, with the help of gaon buras (village headmen), will sensitise people in the villages so that they abstain from organising family functions where a sizeable number of people take part as it could lead to further spread of the virus.

Maintaining that hooch manufacturing units have emerged as major hotspot of COVID-19 infection, Sarma directed the DCs and SPs to take steps for dismantling all such units.

Underlining the need for more awareness among people, he directed to carry out extensive awareness generation activities to sensitise people, especially in the villages and tea gardens.

Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Samir Kumar Sinha, Principal Secretary of Health Department Anurag Goel, Mission Director, NHM, Assam, Dr Lakshmanan S and other senior officers were also present in the video conference.

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