700 People Stranded in Assam-Bengal Border Amidst Lockdown
Abdurrahman Aman | India Tomorrow
GUWAHATI, MARCH 27—Amid the nationwide lockdown due to corona pandemic, more than 700 hundred people from Assam have been reportedly stranding on the inter-state border of Assam-Bengal for last two days. These are mostly people who returned for Assam from various parts of the country. Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sharma told media on Monday that special measures are being taken to bring the stranded people.
They will be kept in makeshift quarantines in Guwahati, the health minister said. Moreover, several thousands of people from Assam, who had been working in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kerala, Telangana, Punjab and other parts of the country for their livelihood, returned to the state last week without disclosing their detail information and proper testing. This has become a matter of worry for the administration.
Only a few among them have been kept in home quarantine and remaining others have already reached their respective villages and towns. The respective district authorities have also started to isolate all of those who have returned to state recently. Several hundreds of people have also returned to the state from abroad. The fact that two persons in the Northeast have tested positive for coronavirus add to the worries of the state.
A 23-year-old woman, resident of Thangmeiband Lourung Purel Leikai area in Imphal West district had recently returned from the UK via Dubai and was tested positive on Tuesday. A 50-year-old man from Mizoram was also tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. He is believed to have recently travelled to Qatar, Amsterdam, Istanbul and Doha.
Addressing the media persons in Guwahati on Thursday, Assam health minister said that there is every likelihood in the state for getting its first corona positive patient at any time as the incubation period of the virus is still on.
Assam government has already sealed all its inter-state and international borders to stop cross border movement. But state government has faced some problems as there are so many unidentified hilly routes with Manipur and Mizoram which are being used as trans-pass by many peoples.
Himanta Biswa told media in Guwahati on Thursday that the state government has taken various measures to fight deadlier coronavirus. Keeping watch on the situation, the state government decided to convert Sarusajai Hockey Stadium in Guwahati into a makeshift hospital for corona having facilities of 2000 beds.
Two indoor stadiums in the city including Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor stadium have been converted to makeshift hospitals having 1000 beds altogether which will be used as quarantine blocks while six full-fledged hospitals have been dedicated only for corona related cases.
Treatment for coronavirus infected people will also be conducted in Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) where 30 additional ICU will be installed for corona. Besides, Mahendra Mohan Choudhary Hospital (MMCH), Sonapur civil hospital, ISBP hospital, Singimari Model Hospital, Ayurvedic College Hospital and Tata referral hospital have also been equipped for corona treatment.
All the branches of MMCH, which have 150 beds capacity, have been closed down barring only for maternity.
There are altogether 156 ventilators in Assam and 30 more are being added in GMCH. Ten new ventilators are being added in Sonapur civil hospital. Meanwhile, the state government urged philanthropists to donate ventilators and personal protection equipment (PPE).
Responding to the government appeal, the GNRC management, who runs one of the largest medical universities and hospitals in the state, has offered 500 beds for corona treatment.