'Strict Quarantine' Mandatory for People Returning to Assam, Says Himanta Biswa Sarma
Guwahati: Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that "strict quarantine" will be necessary for people returning from other parts of India amid the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Stating that only the symptomatic people will be tested, Sarma said that the Centre has prescribed a quarantine period of 9-14 days for those coming in from other states.
Sarma said that after visiting 10,000 villages to check people for symptoms of the coronavirus, doctors discovered that 7,782 people are suffering from fever. "We have to test them. They do not have coronavirus, but we have to test them as per protocol. We have to take swabs of both these people and also those of people . Thus, it will not be possible to test everyone; we can only test the symptomatic patients", Sarma said.
The Minister said that the people coming in from other parts have to be prepared to stay in quarantine for a period of 14 days. Adding that people will be quarantined in schools and colleges, Sarma said that the PHE department is currently engaged in trying to better facilities.
Sarma also informed that when a person is sent to quarantine at home, the entire house will be considered a 'containment zone' and the entire family will have to stay indoors for the duration of the quarantine period.
Terming the incoming numbers of people as a "challenge", Sarma said that a train will run from Delhi to Dibrugarh for a week. "It will pass through several corona affected areas such as Uttar Pradesh's Mughalsarai and Kanpur, Baraunia in Bihar, and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and then enter Assam" said Sarma, adding that passengers will enter the train at all these stops and they will arrive in Assam. "The Government of India has clarified that the guest states have put a lot of pressure to return the stranded citizens", Sarma clarified.
"842 people will get down at the Dibrugarh Railway Station in the train that is scheduled to arrive tomorrow; however, they are not all residents of Dibrugarh. Arunachal Government will take some of its residents to the state in buses", Sarma said.
The Minister also said that ASTC buses will be stationed at the station which will take the returnees to their respective districts after they are screened. "Highly symptomatic patients will not be allowed to board the buses and will taken to hospitals instead", Sarma informed.