Assam reported 735 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, pushing the infection tally to 11,736 in the state, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
Of the 735 new cases, 552 cases were reported from Guwahati city alone, which is currently under complete lockdown for 14 days from June 28. The total number of cases in the city stands at 3,293.
Sarma, in a tweet, said, “735 new #COVID+ positive cases detected today, out of which 552 from Guwahati city alone. Request people to maintain vigilance and take strict precautions.”
Nineteen people tested positive for COVID-19 in Barpeta and these include nine Army personnel of the ”9th Jat Regiment” based at Ganakkuchi area of the district, an official said.
In Dhubri, a woman, whose swab samples were collected earlier when she entered the state from Siliguri in West Bengal, tested positive for the virus after she gave birth to a girl child at Halakura Community health centre.
The centre was declared a containment zone and 11 health workers were put under quarantine, while the woman and her child were shifted to Moterjhar Model Covid Hospital, Dhubri joint director of health Dr Imdadulla said.
A total of 690 patients were discharged from various hospitals after recovering from the disease, taking the total number of cured persons in the state to 7,433, the minister said.
“Even as the numbers rise, there is a silver lining as well. Glad to share that 690 more patients have been discharged today. My best wishes,” Sarma tweeted.
There are 4,286 active cases, 14 people have died so far and three migrated out of the state.
The minister said at a press conference in the evening that the situation in Guwahati city is alarming and may worsen further if the restrictions imposed are not followed seriously.
“We have formally entered the pandemic stage in Guwahati with these cases. Earlier, most of the cases were those with travel history who were quarantined, so the pandemic was in the states from where they had come but now it is here,” he said.
The Assam dispensation has allowed “minimum relaxation” from Monday and “hopefully people will be more careful when they come out to buy the essential commodities, so that the situation does not worsen further”, the minister said.
The administration made partial modifications to the order passed on Saturday, allowing certain relaxations during the ongoing lockdown in the city, including the opening of standalone grocery shops from Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 4 pm.
In the previous order, such shops were allowed to open only on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Sarma appealed to the people to be “very careful and responsible during the lockdown relaxation this week”.
“We will analyse the situation and take a decision accordingly on whether to extend the lockdown or strike a balance to maintain both the economy and health of the people,” he said.
The Guwahati Traffic Police issued an advisory on Sunday that in view of the “opening of grocery shops from tomorrow (Monday) all are requested to go their nearest shops on foot and not use motor vehicles for the purpose”.
The state has so far tested 4,59,143 samples for COVID-19.
“I reiterate to all to voluntarily give your swabs if you feel you have even the mildest of symptoms for COVID-19,” Sarma said.
Till now 196 Assam police personnel in the state have tested positive for the virus and out of these, 38 have been cured while 932 policemen are still under quarantine, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) G P Singh said.