GUWAHATI: The Assam Government is likely to release the new COVID19 SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) on Monday, stated health minister Keshab Mahanta.
Talking to the reporters, Mahanta said that the new SOP will hopefully come on Monday after the chief minister's approval. "We have sent all necessary data to the Chief Minister and CM Sarma will take a decision soon. The number of cases has not declined in Guwahati," said Mahanta.
Notably, Assam's COVID-19 tally mounted to 5,58,491 on Sunday as 1,054 more people tested positive for the infection, while 22 fresh fatalities pushed the death toll to 5,136, the National Health Mission (NHM) said in a bulletin.
Meanwhile, the city buses in Guwahati are noticed to be violating COVID-19 norms by carrying full loads, which violates the SOP and endangers people due to the lack of social distancing.
The District Transport Department had previously given rules for city buses to ride the roads with 50% passengers and keep a social distance, however it has been seen that the buses are flouting the rules and regulations by not adhering to COVID-friendly behavior.
When questioned why they carry full passengers against government restrictions, a bus driver stated that it is not practical to run a bus with half the passengers.
"We also have to take care of our family. How will we cope if we only have 30 or 50% of the buses full? We must also pay a percentage to the owners. The owners take their cut, but they have no idea how much money is coming in. They are indifferent about us," the driver stated. Furthermore, petrol-diesel costs have nearly reached Rs. 100; this is an extra hardship that we must face, according to the driver.
"The passengers, too, do not adhere to the rules. They board the bus despite the fact that the seats are already full. What can we do if they do not obey the rules? We have to transport the people if they board the bus; we can't let them off once they've boarded," he continued.
According to sources, some relaxation for five districts that are under blanket containment.
The pandemic situation has been improving rapidly in the state. As per the latest data, the COVID recovery rate has increased to 96 percent. The corona infection rate in the districts of Jorhat, Dibrugarh, and Lakhimpur has been decreasing in the last ten days.
Considering these, the government may announce relaxation for these districts. However, restrictions upon the inter-districts movement are likely to stay in place till August 15.