Union Home Minister Amit Shah has told Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to try to conduct 10,000 Covid-19 tests per day in Guwahati, even as the city remains under complete lockdown and continues to show a spike in the number of people infected with the coronavirus.
Speaking at a press briefing Wednesday, Sarma said, “Conducting 10,000 tests per day is a big task… I think in Guwahati so many people might not come forward to submit samples per day — we cannot force people. In our modest target, we should be able to conduct 2,000-4,000 tests per day. Of course, if we can do 10,000 tests it will be very good.”
As a consequence of Shah’s telephonic conversation with Sarma, and in consultation with the ICMR, the Assam government has decided to implement a new testing regime with the ‘Q Covid-19 Ag’ test, through which the result of a sample can be obtained within 15 minutes to one hour. The government has ordered 2 lakh ‘Q Covid-19 Ag’ test kits, Sarma said.
Medical staff would be trained to use the new kit on Thursday, and it is expected that full-fledged testing through it will start in the city in the next two-three days.
Guwahati on Tuesday had reported 382 fresh coronavirus cases and by Wednesday afternoon, another 157 people tested positive from the city. As of Wednesday evening, Assam had reported a total of 8,547 Covid-19 cases, including 2,885 cases, and had reported 12 fatalities.
Currently, Guwahati has a total bed capacity of 1,538, of which 987 are occupied.
On Wednesday, Sarma inaugurated a 900-bed Covid care hospital at Guwahati’s Khanapara. He said that within the next 4-5 days, the state will develop a plasma bank.
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