GUWAHATI: One COVID-19 positive patient has died of Delta variant in Assam while the Delta strain was found in 77 per cent of the samples tested during the month of April and May this year, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said on Friday.
Since the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic, 300 random samples of COVID-19 patients for the three months of April, May and June have been sent for testing at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics at Kalyani in West Bengal, the minister said at a press conference here.
"We have got the results for the months of April and May and it has been found that 77 per cent of these have the delta strain while 23 per cent are the Kappa strain", he said.
The minister said that one person has died of the Delta variant in the state so far but he did not give any further detail on this.
Meanwhile, the state government on Friday decided that those who have taken both doses of vaccination will not have to undergo COVID-19 testing at the airports and railway stations, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said.
Persons who have taken both doses of vaccination on production of their certificates will be exempted from testing at the airports and railway stations, Mahanta said.
He was briefing media after Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma reviewed the prevailing COVID-19 situation and vaccination status with the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, district health officials and other senior officials of the state administration.
The COVID-19 situation in all the districts was closely monitored for the last one week and it was found that there were 247 areas which had reported more than 10 positive cases while there were 4581 areas where the number of infected persons was less than ten in each area, he said.
"It was decided in today's meeting that there will be a total containment zone in all the area of Bishwanath, Morigaon and Goalpara districts along with Bokakhat sub-division in Golaghat district", he said.
In these areas, the grocery shops will remain open from 5 a.m to 5 p.m to allow people to buy their essentials without any rush and by maintaining social distance.
There will be no separate vegetable markets open but it can be sold in front of the grocery shops, the minister said.
In some districts like Kamrup Metro where the situation has improved, shops will close by 3 p.m and night curfew imposed from 4 p.m to 5 a.m.
While in those districts where there has been considerable improvement, night curfew will be in force from 5 p.m to 5 a.m while in the remaining districts it will be from 1 p.m to 5 a.m.
Inter-district movement of vehicles will remain suspended and the police has been directed to impose this strictly.
The new restrictions will come into force from June 28 and will remain in force for a week when it will be reviewed again.
A new Standard Operating Procedures is being prepared in this regard and will be made available tomorrow, he said.
During the three-day mega "free for all vaccination drive" in the state from June 21, 9.84 lakh people have been vaccinated and subsequently more than 1.50 lakh people are being vaccinated daily.
"We are receiving 1.50 lakh vaccines daily but from July one more vaccine will be available and we will be able to vaccinate more people", the minister said.
Meanwhile, an official release said that the chief minister has directed the Deputy Commissioners to strictly enforce the guidelines issued in respect of micro-containment zones in areas where positivity rates are very high.
He also directed the DCs to ensure strict compliance of social distance norms at vaccination camps to stop further spread of Covid-19, apart from 100 percent vaccination coverage of all frontline workers.
He said that the Anganwadi workers directly deal with the most vulnerable sections of the society and it is very important that each one of them get vaccinated at the earliest.
The chief minister also directed the officials not to release the monthly remuneration of the Anganwadi workers who do not take COVID vaccines.
Assam's COVID-19 tally rose to 4,96,481 on Friday as 2,793 more people tested positive for the infection, while 26 fresh fatalities pushed the states coronavirus death toll to 4,370, a health bulletin said.
Sonipur district recorded the highest number of fresh cases at 296, followed by Golaghat (241), Jorhat (188), Bishwanath (174), and Kamrup Metro (165).
Four coronavirus deaths were reported from Sonitpur, three from Kamrup Rural, and two each from Goalpara, Kamrup Metro, Karimganj, Lakhimpur, and Udalguri.
Cachar, Chirang, Dhubri, Hojai, Jorhat, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar and Sonitpur reported one death each.
The state now has 28,457 active cases, while 4,62,307 people have recovered from the infection thus far, including 3,977 in the last 24 hours.
The recovery rate among coronavirus patients in the state stands at 993.12 per cent, while the mortality rate is 0.88 per cent.
A total of 1,347 coronavirus patients have died due to other causes to date.
As many as 66,81,031 people have been inoculated thus far.