GUWAHATI/AGARTALA: Exodus of people from southern and western regions of India to the northeast region has led to a steep rise in COVID-19 positive cases, especially in Assam, where 132 new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, taking the State's tally to 346 on Saturday.
According to Assam health officials, of the 132 fresh coronavirus cases, 80 people tested positive since Saturday afternoon. Most of the positive cases were found at the Sarusajai stadium, a sports complex turned into a 1,000-bed quarantine zone by the Assam government last month.
Returnees from different parts of the country were kept under quarantine at the Sarusajai stadium in Guwahati.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the sudden rise in corona cases is due to large-scale return of Assam natives to the State after the Home Ministry withdrew the inter-State transport restrictions on May 4.
"So far, by train and by road, over 37,000 people, mostly from southern and western India, have returned to Assam while over 12 lakh Assamese are residing in different parts of the country," the Minister said.
According to the Minister, out of the 346 positive cases, 282 are active who are being treated at different medical colleges and hospitals.
Meanwhile, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said in a tweet that 16 people have tested COVID-19 positive. "All of them had recently returned from Maharashtra," he said.
With 16 new cases, Tripura's COVID-19 tally rose to 191, including 161 Border Security Force personnel and their kin. The number of active cases in the State is 36. (IANS)