GUWAHATI: The rate of the new COVID-19 positive cases in the State is less than rest of India, but the COVID graph is rising steadily. Should there be any room for complacency in such a situation?
In the new wave of COVID in the State the rate of positive cases was 0.25 per cent ten days back, which has risen to 0.92 per cent now. The number of daily COVID positive cases rose to 195 on Wednesday from 92 on Tuesday.
COVID cases are also detected among people who have no travel history, which is something to be taken care of. In the new wave, cases are detected almost in every district, including Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Nagoan, Kamrup (M), Cachar, Hojai, Sivasagar etc.
One of the reasons behind such a slow yet steady spike in COVID-19 cases in the State is the reckless behaviour of the citizens. As if to cap it all, the district authorities have also adopted a casual attitude in the enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Centre.
COVID-19 guidelines are still in force in the State. However, the police seldom slap fines on people violating the guidelines by not wearing masks.
In city buses, inter-district buses and other modes of public transportation adherence to COVID protocol is not at all seen. Buses are overcrowded.
In malls, adherence to COVID-19 protocol is just ritualistic. Around 90 per cent of people are seen roaming in markets without masks. What's surprising is that of late sanitizers have gone missing from the main gate of Janata Bhawan, let alone other important institutions in the State.
State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says that the COVID situation in the State isn't something to be panicked. What he meant to say is that the State Health Department was on record tackling 2,000-2,500 daily COVID positive cases, and that the present two-digit daily COVID positive cases in the State can't be a matter to be worried of. He also said that even after holding pujas, Diwali, Holi and the Assembly elections the number of COVID positive cases in the State is yet to be a three-digit figure.
GMCH (Gauhati Medical College and Hospital) Principal Dr. Achyut Baishya said, "The situation is tense yet under control. There's nothing to be panicked. However, we all need to abide by the COVID protocol."
GMCH Superintendent Dr. Abhijit Sarma said, "The two months ahead are likely to be critical. If we can keep the situation under control, we'll be in the safe zone."
Noted artiste Zubeen Garg said, "There's Bihu. How can we stay indoor? Enjoy the Bihu, but with masks intact."
Another singer Papon Mahanta said, "What I want is the COVID situation in Assam remaining under control. I appeal to the people of the State to abide by COVID protocol in letter and spirit."
This is true that Assam is ahead of other States of the country when it comes to COVID care infrastructure. But then, should the authority adopt laxity for that till the situation escalates and goes out of control?
In many States, partial lockdown has been started as precautionary measures. Trains keep coming from States where the second wave of COVID is at their peak. However, checking in railway stations in Assam doesn't seem to be in sync with the number of incoming passengers to the State.
Vaccine is a plus point as that will check the mortality rate. However, that doesn't mean that a laidback attitude on the part of the authorities won't worsen the situation. It is better to keep in mind that there were no COVID cases in Assam when the pandemic was at its peak in rest of India. But, after a month or so when a few cases were detected in the State, the situation went beyond control with the report of 2,000-2,500 positive cases daily. Prevention is always better than cure.
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