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Signals from Bongaigaon

Signals from Bongaigaon

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 May 2020 8:46 AM GMT

The surfacing of four new cases of Coronavirus-infected persons in Bongaigaon district on a single day on Thursday has set new alarm bells ringing, with State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressing concern as none of the persons have any travel history or direct contact history with COVID-19 patients. That three of the four persons in the district belong to close-by localities of Bongaigaon town has made the matter more worrisome, though there has been no confirmation whatsoever that there has been any kind of community transmission in the district. That exactly is why the government has decided to conduct random collection of 25 blood samples from each of the areas where the four Bongaigaon persons hail from. Two of the persons incidentally are residents of the residential colony attached to the Bongaigaon Block Primary Health Centre. The same district had registered another case a few days ago, taking the total number of persons infected by COVID-19 to five in a span of three days. While the government has declared Bongaigaon district as a "red" zone, what these cases also indicate is that the people of Assam will now have to become more cautious than before. As the situation had gradually begun to improve in the previous fortnight and exactly one week had passed in between with no fresh case reported, there was a general feeling, including in the government circles that Assam was heading towards becoming COVID-free. Things, however, are definitely more serious than before, especially in comparison to the first few weeks when majority of the COVID-positive cases were coming from members of a particular community whose certain members had attended a particular religious congregation in Delhi in violation of social distancing norms. It is important to note that Health Minister Sarma has made a very significant remark that though Assam has done "remarkably well" in containing COVID-19, the need for alacrity remains critical. He has also expressed happiness that as per the categorization of the country's districts by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, as many as 30 of Assam's 33 districts fall in the "green" zone, the remainder three in the "orange" zone category. Bongaigaon somehow has not been enlisted as "red" by the Union Ministry as yet, with Himanta Biswa Sarma also saying that this is cause of both cheer and caution, and that the people of the state as a whole need to remain more vigilant. The government too has to adopt a stricter and tougher stand so that there is no violation of the lockdown, which has been extended by two weeks as this piece is being written.

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