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Assam’s testing ratio higher than other states: Minister (Roundup)

Guwahati/Shillong/Agartala, April 18 (IANS) Assam’s swab samples testing ratio is better than many states and samples from Meghalaya and Mizoram are being tested in the state’s six ICMR-accredited labs, said Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday.

According to the Minister, of the 34 novel coronavirus positive cases reported in Assam, 33 are directly associated with the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin in Delhi last month.

Out of 34 people tested positive in Assam, aged between 18 yesrs and 71 years, four people are residents of Chameli village (Kheri district) of Uttar Pradesh.

While addressing media in Guwahati, Sarma said that Assam so far tested 120 samples per ten lakh people while Uttar Pradesh tested 106 samples per ten lakh people followed by 96 in Jharkhand, 78 in Bihar, 76 in Mizoram and only 42 in West Bengal.

“In the COVID-19 first wave of concern, Assam is in a comfortable position now, though, there are dangers looming large in India,” he said.

He said that out of the 4,400 samples collected so far, 4,199 samples tested negative and results of 167 samples are awaited. The minister said that of the 34 corona-infected people, one person with a travel history to Saudi Arabia and Delhi died in Hailakandi district in southern Assam on April 10 and 12 people so far discharged from the hospital.

“More people would be released from hospitals soon as 21 patients are being treated in different hospitals in Assam,” said Sarma.

“To increase the test ratio, the health department would soon launch rapid testing to identify the possible coronavirus suspects,” Sarma said.

According to him, so far 4.32 lakh residents of the state, stranded in different states of the country and they have contacted with the Assam government seeking various kinds of help, including financial assistance.

The Health Minister said the swab samples of Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of Morigaon districts have tested negative.

During their official duties, the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police might have met people with positive cases that’s why as per protocol, their samples were tested to eliminate any doubt.

In Shillong, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma tweeted that two more positive cases detected late Friday night, taking the state’s total to 10 active cases after one death.

The latest positive cases include a family member and a helper of the first patient, a senior 69-year-old doctor, who died on Wednesday, two days after he was tested positive.

The deceased doctor, owner of a private hospital in Shillong, had no travel history except that his son-in-law, who is an Air India pilot, had been to COVID-19-infected countries and had returned home on March 22.

In Tripura, Sub-Divisional Medical officer of Kanchanpur Harendra Reang told IANS that 35 Reang tribals, who sneaked into Tripura from adjoining Mizoram, are kept in home quarantine in the refugees camps, where 35,000 tribals are sheltered in seven camps in northern Tripura for the past 23 years after fleeing from the neighbouring state.

–IANS

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