Guwahati: Assam's finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that a decision on whether to continue the lockdown in Guwahati city -- the worst hit by the dreaded COVID-19 in the state -- will be taken after consulting with stakeholders.
"We will take that decision later on. We will have to discuss it with the people. We will only take this decision after holding discussions and deliberations with the residents of the city", Sarma opined while addressing mediapersons outside the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
The lockdown in Guwahati was clamped on June 28 owing to the rapid surge in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the metropolitan area, which has been registering hundreds of new cases each day. The current lockdown, scheduled for 14 days, has seen all activities in the region -- except ones deemed as "essential" -- being disallowed by the Government. The first 7 days of the lockdown were extra stringent, and not even grocery stores were allowed to function. In the second week, however, Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna issued a set of relaxations that can be viewed HERE
It was subsequently informed that the State government will hold a review meeting on the city lockdown within Saturday. The meeting will decide as to whether the lockdown period should be extended beyond July 12, informed State Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna.
Sarma also added that the battle against the COVID-19 would continue until a vaccine is discovered. "We are trying our best. We were filled with fear after the Mahendra Mohan Choudhary Hospital (MMCH) was filled up, but now, we have been able to accommodate 13,000 people. I believe we will able to continue with our efforts to treat the patients", he added.
With 696 more COVID-19 cases detected on Wednesday, the tally of cases in Assam rose to 14,031, Somewhat alarmingly, 423 of these fresh cases were detected in Guwahati city alone, which is quickly turning into a COVID-19 hotspot in the eastern region of India.
Sarma who informed about the updated numbers through a tweet stated that "people are expected to follow precautions strictly." The situation in Assam has continued to grow grim since the onset of June. Although the hospitals across the state have discharged 8,726 patients after recovery, the current number of active cases -- 5281 -- is nothing to scoff at.