Assam’s outreach initiative to residents stranded outside the state is “one of the largest” in the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak when compared to any other state government, state finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.
Sarma said that under the ‘Assam Cares’ initiative, the state government has paid a total of Rs 37 lakh to 49 Assam residents, now stranded outside the country due to international travel restrictions.
The state government has also paid a total of Rs 2 crore to over 800 patients suffering from ailments like cancer, and heart and kidney diseases, who travelled out of the state for treatment and are now stuck.
Sarma pointed out that the biggest element of the ‘Assam Cares’ initiative is that Rs 2,000 has been paid to 1.5 lakh people from Assam, who are stranded in other parts of the country.
“Undoubtedly, it is the largest such outreach program undertaken by any state government at this point,” Sarma said at a press conference in Guwahati on Friday.
Currently, further verification is underway for payments to more patients and people stranded outside the state. The government has urged cancer, kidney and heart patients to reach out through the designated helpline. Necessary help would be provided after verification of the claims.
391 students to return from Kota by Sunday
The Assam government is also bringing back 391 students from Kota in Rajasthan by 17 buses. Sarma said that eight police officers of the state were air-dropped to Rajasthan to facilitate the process and the students are covering the bus fare. The busses are expected to arrive by Sunday morning and the students will be put under quarantine and undergo medical tests, as per protocol.
Assam has reported 35 COVID-19 cases so far, with 19 recoveries and one death.