Assam govt stops giving free essentials to people in home quarantine

The Assam government has reduced the home quarantine period for cured COVID-19 patients to seven days, while also doing away with the provision of providing free essential items worth Rs 2,000 to families in quarantine, except for specified categories of people.

“With the evolving situation, Govt of Assam has decided to reduce the home quarantine period after discharge from hospital to seven days. As such we will not provide essential items worth Rs 2000/ except to the families living under BPL, elderly people, ailing and to Divyangjan (specially-abled),” state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in Twitter.

Earlier, all cured COVID-19 patients had to stay in 14 days mandatory home quarantine, whether they had been symptomatic or asymptomatic during the course of the infection.

On abolishing the provision of free essential items, an official circular from the Health and family welfare department issued on July 24 said, “…the essential items worth Rs 2,000 for quarantined families will henceforth be provided to families of the below poverty line category”.

However, the deputy commissioners have been authorised to extend these benefits to other categories, like elderly, sick, specially-abled, if deemed necessary.

“The state government needs to optimally utilise resources at its disposal for core activities of testing and treatment of COVID-19,” the circular has stated.

Over 1.12 lakh families have been provided with essential items worth Rs 2,000 each, while the state government has also provided financial support to people stranded outside due to the pandemic, including patients undergoing treatment.

The COVID-19 testing and treatment is provided free-of-cost by the government in the state.

Altogether 29,921 COVID-19 cases have been detected in the state so far, out of which 21,761 have recovered and 76 others have died.

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