Assam suffers largest single-day spike with 177 cases, crosses 1000-mark: Officials

Guwahati, May 29 () With 177 more persons testing positive for coronavirus infection in the steepest single-day spike till date, COVID-19 cases crossed 1,000-mark in Assam on Friday, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

The total number of infected cases in the state stood at 1,057 on Friday, he added.

The state breached both the 900 and 1000 marks on Friday, reporting 30 during the day, 25 in the evening, 89 in the night and 33 at midnight, the minister said.

During the day, a dedicated COVID-19 treatment unit too became functional at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH), he added. Advertisement

A repatriation flight from Kuwait, carrying 155 passengers under the Vande Bharat Mission scheme, arrived at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in the evening, a spokesperson of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.

Among the 33 cases reported at midnight, 11 were from Golaghat and Biswanath Chariali each, nine from Udalguri and two from Darrang.

Among the 89 cases reported tonight, 30 were from Kamrup, 17 from Tinsukia, 14 each from Guwahati and Dhubri, ten from Cachar and four from Dhemaji.
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Out of 25 cases detected in evening, six were air travellers, 11 were from Kamrup (Metro) and eight from Hojai, Sarma said.

Among the 30 cases reported during the day, 16 were from Golaghat, six from Karimganj and two each from Lakhimpur, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karbi Anglong, he said. A total of 24 patients were cured and discharged on Friday, taking the number of cured patients in the state to 125. Advertisement

Of the total 1,057 cases, 925 are active, while four patients have died, three have migrated and 125 have recovered, the minister said.

He also inaugurated an exclusive COVID-19 treatment unit at GMCH.

The Rs 150-crore centrally-funded unit is perhaps the first of its kind in eastern India, Sarma said. Advertisement

It is housed in a new building and has 236 beds -- 50 ICU's and 186 of general wards -- with each bed having a dedicated supply of oxygen.

The unit is centrally air-conditioned and equipped with 14 Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UGVI) systems, imported from Canada, which will help improve the indoor air quality and bacteria management.

Sarma said the latest COVID-19 patients are mostly those who have returned from other states. Advertisement

The state government has partially modified the existing protocols for testing COVID-19 patients by which swab samples of patients should be taken on the fifth day after the initial positive result. If the test result of the sample taken on the fifth day is negative, a repeat swab sample would be taken on the sixth day.

If the results of both the samples are negative, the patient will be released from hospital, subject to verification of the asymptomatic status and approval of discharge by the State Discharge Board, according to an order issued by the state Health and Family Welfare department's Principal Secretary Samir Sinha.

Hospitals and testing laboratories will give priority to testing COVID-19 patients. Advertisement

In Assam, 92,390 samples have been tested for COVID-19 so far with 1,024 testing positive, 84,933 negative and results for the remaining being awaited, a state health bulletin said.

The state government has decided that everyone coming to the state from outside will be sent for institutional quarantine and no home quarantine will be allowed for the first seven days, till the results of the swab tests are received. Meanwhile, it has made partial modifications to the exemptions from institutional quarantine, which include any woman who has travelled alone to Assam by train or plane need not undergo institutional quarantine provided she is asymptomatic, but has to undergo 14 days' home quarantine after compliance with health protocols such as collection of swab samples for the COVID-19 test. Advertisement

Any citizen older than 60 years having travelled to Assam by air need not undergo institutional quarantine, provided he is asymptomatic. He, however, has to stay at home quarantine for 14 days.

Exemption from institutional quarantine for senior citizens returning to Assam by train or bus, however, will not be applicable.

In the case of the Army, Air Force and Central Armed Police Forces personnel travelling to Assam, each agency shall nominate a senior officer as its nodal officer to coordinate with the district magistrates and other representatives of the state government, as required. DG NSD RAX RAX
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