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Covid curve has started flattening in Assam, vaccination likely early next year: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Citing data from October 6-12 and arguing that the state's positivity rate has remained below 4%, Sarma added: “I am saying officially that flattening of the Covid curve has started.”

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | Updated: October 14, 2020 12:25:18 pm
Assam covid cases, Assam coronavirus, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam vaccination, Assam news, Indian expressA senior health department official told The Indian Express that the reduction in positivity rate was an outcome of effective testing and isolation. (File)

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said the curve of Covid-19 cases in the state has started flattening as the positivity rate over the last week has remained below 4 percent with around 30,000 tests per day.

Speaking at a press conference here, Sarma added that the Centre has said that Covid vaccination is likely to start in the state sometime between January and July next year.

“The priority will be given to frontline workers and the population above 60 years. We are having multiple video conferences and meetings with the Central government over this,” he said.

Citing data from October 6-12 and arguing that the state’s positivity rate has remained below 4%, Sarma added: “I am saying officially that flattening of the Covid curve has started.”

On Monday, the state conducted over one lakh tests, and recorded a positivity rate of 1.4%. On Tuesday, against 1,26,279 tests, a positivity rate of 1.17% was recorded.

A senior health department official told The Indian Express that the reduction in positivity rate was an outcome of effective testing and isolation.

Sarma said at the conference, the state had carried out over 40 lakh tests so far and currently, 1.14 lakh tests per million are being conducted. In Guwahati, he added, over 6 lakh people have been tested against a total population of around 10 lakh.

“Some have predicted that in the winters there can be a new wave [of Covid]. For that, we have to be careful,” Sarma said.

He remarked that it if this trend remains throughout the four-day Durga Puja celebrations in the state later this month, then Assam will be in a “comfortable position regarding Covid as of now”.

The state government released a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for Durga Puja celebrations on Monday, which included guidelines on the pandal, restriction on timing and mandatory testing for key Puja committee members, among others.

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