COVID-19: Assam CM shares steps taken in review meeting with PM Modi


Guwahati:Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the country and various steps taken by State Governments via video conference that was attended by Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal along with chief ministers of all states of the country.

Along with Chief Minister Sonowal, Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, Additional Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah, Principal Secretary to CM Sanjay Lohiya, Principal Secretary of Health Department Sameer Sinha and Commissioner & Secretary of Health Department Anurag Goel were present in the video conference.

Chief Minister Sonowal speaking at the video conference appreciated the Prime Minister’s leadership in guiding the States in dealing with the situation in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Sonowal said that it was due to the timely declaration of 21-day lockdown by the Prime Minister that fatality due to COVID-19 in the country could be minimized to a large extent as of now. He also assured full support of people of the State in the measures announced by the PM in view of novel coronavirus pandemic and also pledged cooperation in future as well.

The Chief Minister informed that till March 30, there were no COVID-19 positive cases reported from Assam. However, the first positive case was detected in Assam on 31st March, and since then altogether sixteen persons have been tested positive.

All these patients are under medical treatment now, Sonowal informed. Further, the Chief Minister said that since the beginning of epidemic till date, a total of 67,436 persons were quarantined in government facilities or at home and 16 were put in isolation at Government Hospital in Assam.

Stating the State Government’s preparedness to deal with COVID-19 cases, the Chief Minister highlighted the need for uninterrupted maintenance of inter-State supply-chain of medical products from States where such products are manufactured to other States so that treatment of patients could be handled effectively.  

Informing the Prime Minister about new steps taken up by the State Government, Sonowal said that 5 new COVID-19 hospitals are planned at Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Lakhimpur, Silchar and Bongaigaon. Besides, Medical Colleges are converted to COVID hospitals by diverting other patients to private hospitals for which the State government would bear expenses of such patients.

The Chief Minister also informed that AMCH, GMCH, SMCH, MMCH & Sonapur District Hospital have already been made functional and FAAMCH, TMCH, JMCH & Diphu Medical College are under process. Training for doctors and para medical staffs, 1000 bedded quarantine facility at Sarusajai Stadium and other interventions were also highlighted by the Chief Minister.

Moreover, Chief Minister Sonowal said that the State Government in a bid to help the poor and needy took steps to cover 58 lakh families of the State by NFSA and to provide rice free of cost from 1st April onwards.

Apart from this, 5 lakh poor, destitute and homeless families who are presently not covered under NFSA are being provided Rs. 1000 per family and Rs 2500 are being transferred to the bank accounts of six lakh marginal and small farm families under Chief Minister’s Krishi Sa Sajuli Yojana.

He also informed that Rs 1000 will be transferred to the bank account of 2.78 lakh construction workers registered under Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Board. Further, the State Government has also decided to transfer $2,000 to residents of the state who are stranded abroad for a month, he informed.

Regarding enforcement of lockdown in the State, Chief Minister Sonowal informed that State police machinery and para-military forces have been deployed to ensure complete compliance of the lockdown norms in the State.

He also said that each Minister of the State Government has been assigned two districts to guide district administrations in their preparedness. Besides, he personally had visited 13 districts during last one week and Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma also visited all the medical colleges, district hospitals to oversee preparedness.

Highlighting steps taken for migrant daily labours from other states who are stranded in Assam due to lockdown, the Chief Minister informed that they have been provided shelter and ration by the Assam Government. Moreover, people from Assam who are stranded in other states due to lockdown, the Assam Government has been providing necessary assistance like food, accommodation, medical support, transportation in coordination with Assam Bhawans and Assam Houses and concerned district administrations of those states, Sonowal said.

The Chief Minister also informed about steps taken for jail inmates during the lockdown period. He said that more than one thousand under trial prisoners have been released on PR bond as per the recommendation of High Power Committee, besides, arrangement of wards with quarantine facilities in every jail and medical check up for all jail inmates.

The Prime Minister appreciated the steps taken by the State Government, especially step taken for jail inmates and urged other State Governments to take similar steps. He also emphasised on taking extreme care of the people living in Old Age Homes by the State Governments. The Prime Minister also made several suggestions to be followed by the State Governments and appealed all to work as a team and called for collective effort to tide over the present crisis.

Earlier, Preeti Sudan, Secretary of Health & FW of Government of India made a presentation on COVID-19 in India and the world and highlighted the major issues of concern. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also addressed the Chief Ministers and stressed the need on strict compliance of lockdown norms in the country.

Chief Ministers of Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh also shared the situation of their respective States and steps taken to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.