* Bodies piling up at crematoriums
GUWAHATI: Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has sounded an alert saying that the COVID-19 situation across the State is turning critical with the numbers of both the positive cases and deaths increasing.
Sarma told reporters here on Tuesday that the situation would turn worse if the people do not become alert and adhere to the COVID-safety protocols. He also pointed out that the number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths increased alarmingly since the last one week.
Meanwhile, the Kamrup Metropolitan district has recorded 11,652 positive cases during the last 10 days. On the other hand, the State registered 159 deaths due to COVID-19 infection in the last six days.
After holding a meeting at the GMCH (Gauhati Medical College & Hospital) on Tuesday to review the status of the general and ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds, Sarma said that the ICU at the old building of the hospital is almost fully occupied. He, however, added that additional beds will be arranged at the new Super Specialty Hospital at GMCH.
"Beds at the government hospitals are still available. But the situation will be out of control if the ratio of beds and patients becomes disproportionate," added the Health Minister.
Ruling out the possibility of immediate lockdown, Sarma said that the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metropolitan) district has been asked to conduct a ward-wise survey to find out the COVID-19 cases. He also stated that on the basis of the survey, the administration might declare ward-wise containment zones. The Minister further said that the government will start vaccination drives for persons in the 18-plus age group from May 7.
On the other hand, the crematoriums and graveyards in the city are witnessing piles of bodies of those who had succumbed to COVID-19 infection. The final rites of 37 Corona casualties were carried out at the crematoriums in Ulubari and Bhutnath on Monday. Similar is the situation at the kabarasthans (graveyards) in Athgaon and Sarania. The management authorities of the crematoriums and the kabarasthan said that there would be shortage of space in case there is a continuous flow of bodies.
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