Guwahati begins ATSP to ascertain community transmission of COVID19, targets 50,000


Guwahati:  Assam on Tuesday began its 50,000 targeted random swab testing in the capital city of Guwahati to ascertain a possible community transmission of the novel coronavirus under the Assam Targeted Surveillance Programme (ATSP).

After the city recorded a sharp increase in COVID positive cases, the Assam state health department decided to start random tests of 50,000 people in the city. The programme aims to test over 50,000 samples in 10 days starting June 17.

The tests will cover people working in truck parking lots and unloading bays; frontline district administrative, police and health officials; and family members of those who have been released from institutional quarantine. Following the results of this test, the state government will reconsider the issue of full-scale lockdown in Guwahati.

Auchyut Baishya, Principal Gauhati Medical College Hospital has urged through the media to the people of the city to come out for random swab tests. He called on the people living in the containment zones, in particular, to take the initiative and test for COVID-19 in the city.

On Tuesday, the swab testing began at four designated locations in Guwahati:

  1. Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH)
  2. Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH)
  3. Capital State Dispensary, Dispur
  4. Pandu FRU

From Tuesday, Assam State Health department targeted 12 designated locations to conduct the tests but could only start with 4 locations due to lack of lab technicians.

Swab testing were conducted from today at eight locations in the city:

  1. Dhirenpara FRU,
  2. Ulubari Urban Hospital
  3. Khanapara State Dispensary
  4. Bhetapara State Dispensary
  5. Lokhora State Dispensary
  6. Bamunimaidan State Hospital,
  7. Santipur State Dispensary
  8. Odalbakra MPHC

Residents of Guwahati can voluntarily test for COVID-19 at these centers.

Guwahati, along with other parts of the state, has recently seen an increase in the number of patients infected with the coronavirus, COVID19. There is a risk of mass infection as some people are infected in Guwahati without travel history. In view of this, the health department has decided to test 50,000 sample tests by June 30 in the city.