With at least two COVID-19 cases in Assam traced to West Bengal, the Assam government has decided to regulate permission to people wishing to return from the neighbouring state.

Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on May 8, Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We have advised the police department not to issue permit enlarge to people wishing to return from West Bengal. Permission will only be given on extreme humanitarian grounds.”

“I don’t want to comment on what is happening in West Bengal as it is not in my jurisdiction. But yes, we have traced two cases to that state. We will be careful in allowing people to enter from there,” he added.

While one person from Kokrajhar with travel history to Coochbehar had tested positive, another one who had visited Medinapur was also found infected with the virus later.

The state has already increased vigil along the West Bengal border to ensure no person can sneak in without screening by Health department.

Institutional quarantine for people returning from ‘red zones’ till the result of their COVID-19 test is completed, have also been made mandatory by the Assam government.

The minister further reiterated his request to people living in other parts of the country not to return amid the novel coronavirus situation, if not necessary. He said, “We cannot prevent morally or legally any person from Assam from returning to the state. But we can request them not to come till the situation improves as they have the risk of brining the infection with them.”

Altogether 56 positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the state so far, out of which 34 patients have recovered till now.

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