Assam can now conduct 10,000 Covid-19 tests per day, and will soon announce a reduction in mandatory institutional quarantine period for travellers arriving in the state to four days, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.
“In the month of June, we will develop ourselves to a position where we can send a person home — with a negative test result — within four days. We are not reducing institutional quarantine period just for the sake of it. We will have 10,000 per day testing capacity. So why keep people for an extra period of time and pay for it,” Sarma said. The total quarantine period remains 14 days, so if institutional quarantine is reduced to four then the person has to isolate at home for the remaining 10 days.
Sarma said Assam had completed one lakh Covid-19 tests, and expressed confidence that by mid-June, it would have completed two lakh tests. Regarding lockdown and relaxation, he said the state would broadly follow the Centre’s guidelines.
Assam has reported over 1,200 Covid-19 patients till Sunday evening. Of them, over 1,100 are residents who have returned from other parts of the country following the opening of interstate travel and flights. Returnees from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi rank the highest among those who have tested positive.
Sarma reiterated that there was no community spread of the novel coronavirus in Assam, and that all those now testing positive were put into quarantine centres upon their arrival in the state. Moreover, Sarma said that community disease surveillance teams have so far screened nearly 30,000 villages, during which no one tested positive for Covid-19.
Bracing for floods, Sarma said the state government was preparing a SOP on how to tackle the coronavirus and floods together— focusing on ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in flood relief camps. On Sunday, one person died in the floods, taking the toll to seven.
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