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Assam’s Covid toll would be higher if indirect deaths included, says Himanta

Speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of a press conference in Guwahati, Sarma said that if deaths of Covid patients who tested negative before their demise were counted, the casualty figure in Assam would be between 900 and 1,000.

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | September 5, 2020 2:28:57 am
coronavirus lockdown, bihar lockdown, west bengal lockdown, assam guwahati lockdown, covid-19 cases india, 10 lakh coronavirus cases india, covid updates, india coronavirus deaths, covid pandemicGuwahati: A suspected COVID-19 woman being taken to a hospital during the lockdown imposed by the state government to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, in Guwahati, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI04-07-2020_000047B)

Assam has registered 330 Covid-19 deaths so far but if other deaths indirectly linked to the disease are counted then the figure will be much higher, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.

Speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of a press conference in Guwahati, Sarma said that if deaths of Covid patients who tested negative before their demise were counted, the casualty figure in Assam would be between 900 and 1,000.

“If we count both, deaths ‘during Covid’ and ‘post Covid’, then the figure (state’s overall death toll from the infection) will be higher. But the ‘post Covid’ deaths cannot be included in our official tally,” Sarma said.

Sarma said that the figure 330 only reflects those who have died while they were infected and those that died from it. “If you add those who had Covid but died of some other cause (unnatural causes like road accidents) and people who died of post-Covid complications after testing negative, then the casualty figure in Assam will be close to 1,000,” he said.

In Assam, a 4-member Death Audit Board, formed in accordance with guidelines by the ICMR, decides which deaths can be officially attributed to Covid-19.

In the press briefing, Sarma highlighted that over the last few days the state was seeing 3,000-odd new cases per day — which he said was a worrying sign. “This way, September alone will see say 30 multiplied by 3,000 — a total of 90,000 cases. We have to ensure that does not happen,” Sarma said.

On Friday, Assam lifted the weekend lockdown and ended the night curfew as well.

Till Thursday night, Assam had reported a total of 1,18,333 cases — of which 29,274 are active.

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