Guwahati: In an alarming development, Guwahati, the economic hub of the Northeast Indian region, witnessed another spike of 500-plus COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, August 5.
However, the rise in the number of virus cases has been witnessed at a time when the state government has increased the number of COVID-19 tests exponentially. Yesterday alone, a staggering 59,064 tests were conducted across the state.
A day prior, the metropolitan area registered 414 cases of the dreaded virus, which prompted the Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna to take to Twitter where he urged citizens to extra cautious in the ensuing days.
📌Alert ~ 2886 COVID cases detected out of 5⃣9⃣0⃣6⃣4⃣ tests in last 24 hrs~ maximum in a day so far.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) August 4, 2020
Positivity Rate- 4.86%
Kamrup (M)- 550, Kamrup (R)- 294, Nagaon- 213, D'garh- 201
↗️Total cases 48161
↗️Active cases 14615
9:40 PM, Aug 04 pic.twitter.com/5mXtNS10XI
Presenting the COVID-19 fact sheet for the day, with the updated numbers, the Chief Secretary wrote, "#Covid19 factsheet Assam as of 3rd August 2020. There is a slight increase in the number of cases in Kamrup (M), so would like to urge everyone to continue taking all the preventive measures and staying safe."
However, if we go back just a single day, to August 2, we will find that the number of cases detected was much lower: 268. A similar number, 275, was also registered on August 1.
On July 27, the number of COVID-19 cases detected in the city was a measly 155. The detection of such a 'low' number of cases probably resulted in many citizens heaving a sigh of relief. The health minister himself proclaimed that the condition in Guwahati is "improving". However, with the graph rising once again, it appears that the relief might be short-lived.
In fact, one has to go all the way back to July 22 to find a 24-hour period when more than 500 cases of the virus were detected.
Assam's health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has termed the situation in the state as "flexible": meaning the situation can change at a moment's notice.
He has also cautioned that the graph will more or less depend on how assiduously the citizens follow the lockdown restrictions that have been put in place.
The administration must have always known that it was once again putting its head in the lion's den by lifting the lockdown restrictions. However, the Centre's new unlock guidelines make it explicitly clear that the city must soon be opened up for economic activities.
Some city-dwellers might find respite in the fact that although there is an indication that the numbers are climbing higher, they are still below the 750-1,000 cases that the Assam health minister had predicted last month in regional television.
However, it is still early days to estimate which course the transmission will take in the ensuing months. Although the health ministry has predicted that the numbers will start declining in September, past trends indicate that there is no way to prognosticate the exact number of virus cases at any given point of time.