A health worker spraying disinfectant at a swab collection center in Guwahati

As the number of COVID-19 positive cases increased rapidly in Assam, the Central government has projected that the figure will reach 65,000 by next month, with Guwahati accounting for nearly half of it, even as the state government prepared to relax lockdown norms in the main city from next week.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

The overall COVID-19 tally in the state had crossed 20,000 on July 16 to reach 20,646, out which 12,000 were reported in the last 30 days.

The death toll increased by one to touch 51 with the death of a 75-year-old man at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital in Guwahati on July 17.

The number of recovered patients in the state is over 13,500.

Revealing of the projection made by the Centre, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on July 17 said of the 65,000 cases, 32,000 are estimated to be from Guwahati alone.

“We got this communication yesterday (July 16). However, I am not sure on what basis the projection was made. Our health officials are holding a meeting on it today,” Sarma said at Nagaon.

He said while the city is recording around 500 cases every day, the figure could go up to 2,500 by August 15.

“The situation has changed now. Earlier we saw asymptomatic patients. Now, we are getting more and more critical cases, like those in Delhi and Mumbai. There are 400 serious patients in GMCH today. The oxygen level of the patients is plummeting. We are formulating a strategy to deal with the new situation,” he said.

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Sarma claimed that the “aggressive treatment” policy followed by the doctors here has resulted in the low mortality rate in the state, with a campaign for plasma donors also being launched by the Health department from July 17.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, reviewing the COVID-19 situation in Guwahati, took stock of the steps taken by the Health department for treatment of COVID-19 patients and isolation as well as quarantine arrangements made by the Health department.

As the government has decided to relax lockdown in Kamrup Metro district from July 20, the meet discussed and finalized the guidelines to be made effective in the city.

The chief minister directed to take adequate measures to ensure strict compliance of Health department guidelines during the lockdown relaxation period.

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