Newly constructed COVID care centre at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati

As the COVID-19 tally in Assam remained on an upward trend, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on September 12 said that the department is working to increase ICU beds and isolation beds for treating the patients.

Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, he said: “We have got 29,000 cases in September so far, and we fear about 80,000-90,000 cases this month. We will be able to tide over September. For October, we will need more isolation beds and ICU beds. We are already working on it and I shall share the details later.”

On apprehension of oxygen cylinder shortage in face of rising COVID-19 cases, Sarma said the matter is being addressed and oxygen storage tanks are being constructed.

He said: “We plan to inaugurate two such storage tanks at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital soon, and also build such storage unit in Jorhat Medical College and Hospital.”

With patients requiring kidney dialysis facing problems as private hospitals demand COVID-19 negative report, the government has empanelled 20 more facilities under a scheme to provide free dialysis.

Twenty hospitals were already providing this facility in the state, he added.

Pointing that the mortality rate of COVID-19 has increased to 0.31% in the state, he warned of post-COVID complications and fatalities, reiterating his request to the people to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing at all times.

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“The government can only work with the support of the people. We can say we will take ‘action’, but if the people do not cooperate, the government alone cannot work,” he said.

With the festival season commencing, the minister once again urged the public to refrain from gatherings and appealed the Durga Puja committees to ensure that all protocols are followed.

The overall COVID-19 tally in the state has increased to 1,38,339 with 2534 new cases detected in the last 24 hours. The death toll has touched 430 with 16 COVID-19 casualties confirmed on September 11, with Kamrup Metro district at top of the chart with 90 deaths so far.

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