With COVID-19 infections on the rise, the Assam government has decided to start the Assam Targeted Surveillance Programme (ATSP) from June 17 to randomly test 50,000 samples in 11 days, according to officials in Guwahati on June 16.

Assam Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Samir Kumar Sinha said the random testing under ATSP would be conducted in four categories of people.

In his order, Sinha said under ATSP, random testing of people and workers involved in truck parking, loading and unloading of goods, including railway goods and godowns, would be conducted.

Similar random testing would be conducted on all frontline district officials, including health workers, police personnel, officials of the transport department and the district administration, those associated with COVID-19 management, hotel staff and family members of people released from the institutional quarantine centres.

Earlier, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said if a sizable number of positive cases were found after testing 50,000 samples, several stringent measures, including total lockdown, would be re-imposed in Guwahati and other vulnerable places.

“The new strategies are being considered to check the coronavirus spread in Assam,” Sarma said.

Assam has tested 2.20 lakh samples and found 4,319 COVID-19 cases. It has now 1,897 active cases. While 2,411 patients have recovered, eight people, including a 16-year-old girl, died.

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