“The Covid positivity rate has gone down considerably in Assam in the last few days. After conducting one lakh tests in two days, nearly six percent positivity has been reported. If the same trend continues, the Covid situation will show good improvement in the next 15 days,” Sarma told the media after taking stock of the infrastructure and treatment facilities for Covid care at the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital (FAAMCH) in lower Assam’s Barpeta district.
Once again, he turned down any possibility of total lockdown in the state but said that in the next 15-20 days the second wave may subside in Assam, provided the people follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Even though the state government has prohibited home isolation of Covid patients above 50 years, many such patients are still keeping them confined to their homes.
Sarma pitched the need for a Covid hospital in the district, admitting that many positive people are still in home isolation in Barpeta. He assured infrastructure boost to help the plan materialise.
“Home isolation has to be closed for those poor people who don’t have oxymeter and other facilities for timely monitoring of their health,” he added.
On the allegation of ‘exorbitant billing’ in some of the private hospitals for Covid treatment, Sarma said that the state government is deliberating on putting a cap on the charges levied on Covid patients.
“Hospital beds and ICU beds in government facilities for treating Covid patients are still lying vacant. Our thrust is to enhance the facilities in government hospitals so that the situation does not arise when patients have to go to private hospitals for Covid treatment,” Sarma said.
As of Thursday, Assam had 51,818 active cases. But a major chunk of these patients was undergoing treatment in government hospitals due to the free treatment.
In civil hospitals, he said, the government has plans to make oxygen plants operational soon.
“We are going to start six more oxygen plants; 14 are already operational in the state,” he said.
On the vaccination front, the chief minister was hopeful that the vaccine supply would augment from June and the government would be able to achieve the target of nearly one lakh vaccinations daily.
“We have been administering around 50,000 jabs daily but my target is to inoculate nearly one lakh people everyday,” Sarma said, urging the people to exercise maximum restraint under the prevailing situation.
“Despite all our efforts, Assam is not being able to procure adequate number of Covid vaccines,” he said.
The chief minister said the 15-bed Covid Care ICU, along with 50 oxygen concentrators, would empower the Barpeta district a great deal to provide treatment to the critically ill.