Guwahati: Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma yesterday said that the COVID-19 situation in Guwahati city of Assam is showing marked improvement in comparison to July, when the infection rate reached its peak.
The minister took to micro-blogging site Twitter to share two graphs which clearly depict that the level of threat seems to be decreasing, in spite of many of the lockdown restrictions being lifted.
In the first graph, the health minister showed the number of cases detected in Guwahati's perimeters within 24 hours. He took July 16, when the coronavirus pandemic in the urban area was at its peak, as the starting point.
Here are two trends of COVID cases in Guwahati in between 16th July to 8th August. Positivity rate has come down from 18% to 4.5%. The number of positive cases per day is also slowing down. Need to maintain this trend for a few more weeks pic.twitter.com/bjLq7y37XC— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) August 9, 2020
On the aforementioned date, the city reported an astounding 598 cases of COVID-19, which was followed by 570 cases a day later.
Since July 22, however, there has been a comparative drop in the number of cases. This, in spite of a major boost in the number of tests being conducted to detect the virus cases.
At the same time, the positivity rate in the city (which means the percentage of positive cases per 100 tests) has also continued to witness a sharp dip.
From 16.7% on July 16, the graph has now fallen to 4.5%. This is within the permissible levels as put forth by the World Health Organization (WHO) that has been closely monitoring the pandemic situation since the virus landed on our shores.
Thus, with the situation inching towards "normal" in both these parameters, is it safe to say that Guwahati has put the worst of the coronavirus pandemic behind?
The citizenry certainly seems to be wishing for more lockdown relations (indeed, much of the attention has now shifted towards the economic downturn brought about because of the lockdown exercise).
Additionally, there is a big question mark looming over the weekend lockdowns and 'alternate day opening of shops' rule. Critics of these curbs complain that there have added more to the economic misfortune.
However, Sarma has cautioned time and again that the coronavirus could once again make another comeback in a big way "if people are not careful."
Also, he has said that the graph must continue dipping downwards for a few weeks more before citizens can finally heave a sigh of relief.
"Here are two trends of COVID cases in Guwahati in between 16th July to 8th August. The positivity rate has come down from 18% to 4.5%. The number of positive cases per day is also slowing down. Need to maintain this trend for a few more weeks", he wrote in a tweet.
Thus, although the numbers have not touched astronomical figures as predicted by the Government, the health department is not ready to heave a sigh of relief yet.