Assam CM reviews COVID situation, asks officials to check price rise of medicines


GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the state and directed officials to take measures so that prices of essential goods and medicines do not increase.

Sonowal also had a telephonic discussion with Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on the steps being taken by the administration following a spike in coronavirus cases and fatalities, official sources said.

In a video conference with the deputy commissioners, the chief minister reviewed various aspects of COVID-19 response in the districts and directed them to keep a check on the prices of essential commodities and medicines.

He also asked the DCs to regularly visit hospitals and check on the availability of medicines supplied by the government. The chief minister suggested that the public be informed of the gravity of the coronavirus situation. He asked the officials to take joint measures in consultation with tea garden management to control the spread of the infection in the garden areas and also directed that the rates of essential commodities are fixed in consultation with chambers of commerce. Sonowal also directed the health department to take all measures to augment healthcare infrastructure to deal with the present crisis, sources said. The deputy commissioners informed the chief minister of the measures taken in their respective districts to check the spread of the disease and treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Superintendents of the medical colleges informed him about the steps taken for strengthening infrastructure in the facilities for COVID treatment.

Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Samir Sinha apprised Sonowal of the present status of COVID-19 patients, availability of oxygen and its storage capacity, ICU beds and testing.

The chief minister asked him to prepare a road map to ensure availability of oxygen to meet any COVID related emergency situation.

The meeting was also attended by Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah, DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, Chief Ministers Additional Chief Secretary Paban Kumar Borthakur and other senior officials. PTI