Border with Manipur, Mizoram to be sealed: Himanta

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Isolation facility in Sarusajai Sports Complex to be ready within a week

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, March 26: As Manipur and Mizoram have one positive coronavirus case each, Assam government is planning to seal the inter-state border with two neighbouring states, health and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said here on Thursday.

No COVID-19 case has so far been reported from any part of the state, Sarma told reporters at Sarusajai Sports Complex here.

A 50-year-old man, who had travelled to Amsterdam, and returned to Mizoram on March 16, has been tested positive for COVID-19.

The 23-year old girl of Thangmeiband Lourungpurel Leikai of Manipur’s Imphal West district was the first patient carrying coronavirus in the Northeast. She came back home on March 21 from the United Kingdom and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24 following complaints to the doctors at the hospital.

Sarma also expressed regret that people are still coming out of their homes in large numbers despite the lockdown.

He said four temporary hospitals with 300 beds each will be set up across Assam for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

An isolation facility for 700 persons with separate rooms and 200 attached lavatories will be set up at the Sarusajai Sports Complex, which will be ready within a week, he said.

“We have enough space in the Sarusajai Sports Complex to set up an isolation unit for another 1,000 persons. However, this will be created subject to availability of logistics as construction materials for temporary structure are not available at this moment,” Sarma said.

Once the Sarusajai Sports Complex is full, the state government might set up another such facility at Radha Gobinda Baruah Sports Complex, the minister said.

Around 700 people are at check gates in Kokrajhar district along the Assam-West Bengal border and they will be brought directly to the Sarusajai facility, Sarma said.

On the steps taken to augment the strength of medical staff, he said, “We have developed a training module. Around 700 students are in the final year of MBBS in medical colleges of Assam. They are called PRCs, which is equivalent to doctors.”

“From today onwards, we will train them in the module for coronavirus treatment. Similarly, around 2,000 final year students of nursing in the state will also be trained for the same purpose. Many young doctors who have returned to the state have offered their voluntary services if need arises.”

“We have had discussions with a leading private sector construction company regarding the temporary hospitals. Almost all parliamentarians from both ruling and opposition parties of the state have also offered to contribute funds to set up the hospitals,” Sarma said.

“It will be finalised within the next two-three days. We are looking to set up these hospitals in places where there is no medical college,” he said.

The health department had also conducted examinations for ward boys and girls, the results of which are awaited, he said.

“We have asked the authority concerned to announce the results immediately, because 300-400 new entrants in the healthcare system will benefit us immensely,” he said.

On cases of harassment of doctors and nurses by landlords, Sarma said instructions have been given to all SPs to register criminal cases against them. “I am personally monitoring this situation”.

Meanwhile, Assam government has launched Assam Arogya Nidhi in a bid to safeguard health of people in wake of #COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

Assam Arogya Nidhi, A/c No. 32124810101, SBI, IFSC Code: SBIN0010755

The government sought contribution from the public to contribute to the Assam Arogya Nidhi, account No 32124810101, SBI, IFS code: SBIN0010755

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