Though the state has recorded a decline in the number of daily cases below 3,000 in the last one week, the trend continues to be static. Although it was predicted by some health experts that the daily figure would drop to 2,000 towards the end of June, it continues to be over 2,500 cases per day.
More Covid restrictions will follow in the vulnerable areas and districts from Monday.
Contacted by TOI, Assam National Health Mission director Lakshmanan S, said: “Assam continues to test over one lakh people everyday. With such high number of testing, it’s obvious that there won’t be a sudden drop in the number of cases.”
“We are conducting 1.2 lakh to 1.4 lakh testing per day. If we bring down the number of tests, the number of positive cases will also reduce. But that will lead to lesser diagnosis which will only lead to silent spread of the virus,” Lakshmanan said. Assam had adopted a strategy to gear up testing with drop in cases.
Lakshmanan, who is overseeing the health department’s affairs since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, predicted that unless people strictly follow the Covid protocal, the second wave may continue and it will take a while for normalcy to return to the state.
“If everything goes well, the daily cases in Assam may be around 500 by July-end. It is now almost certain that Covid-19 is going to persist throughout July,” he added.
The detection of the Delta variant of the virus in the state has set alarm bells in the state. But the social distancing norms are still being flouted in market areas.
Though transition from the second wave to a possible third wave is being expected only after the current wave dies down, there is a possibility that a prolonged second wave may suddenly take the state to another peak, health officials said.
“The virus will have its own natural cycle.How people protect themselves is going to be the real test,” said a health official.
In Guwahati, though the daily cases are hovering between 150 to 200 cases, health officials fear that maximum restrain needs to be adopted. “200 cases has the potential can become 2,000. A lots of efforts will have to be taken up as per the local situation evolving everyday in every district. The district authorities have been sufficiently empowered to impose restrictions considering the need in vulnerable pockets,” a senior health official said.
In the district-wise tally positive cases in the last10 days, state capital Guwahati and Kamrup (Metropolitan) district has been left behind by Sonitpur, Golaghat and Dibrugarh districts — all encompassing vast rural areas. As of Saturday evening statistics, Sonitpur district has recorded highest number of 2,324 cases in last 10 days. The major threat is inter-mingling of people in the districts, health officials said.
Assam government has published an SOP on Saturday exempting people who received both shots of Covid vaccine from going through mandatory testing at airports and railway stations. Even as a few cases may be carrier of the virus, health sources said the move would act as an incentive to people who have got vaccinated. “It’s a risky solution. But we have to go forward. Unless there is another surge, the government’s effort is to bring back normalcy in the state,” an official said.