Assam seeks Centre's nod to airlift 850 patients

Assam seeks Centre's nod to airlift 850 patients stuck in metros

Assam government has sought civil aviation ministry's permission to airlift over 850 patients and their attendants who are stuck in Bengaluru, Chennai, Vellore, Delhi and Mumbai, in the COVID-19 lockdown.

Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said the state government was willing to bring them in flights as most of them are suffering from critical diseases like cancer, heart ailment, kidney problems and it was not possible to bring them in buses or train.

"Most of them have completed treatment and are willing to come back to their homes soon. But it will not be good for their health to bring them in buses the way we brought some students from Kota in Rajasthan recently. So we have sought the civil aviation ministry's permission to bring them in flights. We have also talked to some airline operators too," Sarma said.

The state health department had earlier provided financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 to each of them. 

A total of 391 students from doing coaching in Kota in Rajasthan, a COVID-19 'Red Zone' were brought on Monday (April 27) after more than 2000-km travel in 17 buses. Parents of the students paid the bus fare (Rs. 7,000 per head) but the state government sent a team of police personnel by a chartered flight to Rajasthan to accompany them. All of them are now in institutional quarantine in Guwahati.

Assam government is also planning to bring those stuck in other states in the Northeast. 

Assam reported 37 COVID-19 positive cases so far of which 29 have been discharged after recovery. Two of them were released from hospitals on Wednesday (April 29).

Sarma said 10 persons from Assam including seven CPRF personnel tested positive in New Delhi in the past 24-hours. A sub-inspector of CPRF, hailing from Assam's Barpeta district succumbed to COVID-19 in Delhi on Tuesday (April 28).