Assam plans to cut institutional quarantine to 4 days

COVID-19: After over one lakh tests, Assam plans to reduce institutional quarantine to four days

 A worker sprays disinfectant on a passenger who arrived at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport for domestic travel, following the resumption of domestic flight services after a gap of two months, during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, in Guwahati. (PTI Photo)
After over one lakh tests and 1,226 COVID-19 positive cases, Assam is planning to reduce the institutional quarantine to four days for those testing negative.
 
Earlier the state government had decided to keep all showing symptom after returning from outside into seven days institutional quarantine and another seven days in home quarantine. But health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday told reporters that the department was trying to give the test report within 72-hours and those testing negative would be send to home quarantine after the fourth day.
 
"This will cut our cost as the government is bearing the hotel fare of those staying in seven days institutional quarantine. But the village-level quarantine committees will keep strict watch on all those in home quarantine till the 14th day. May was the challenging and critical month for us as thousands of people started returning from rest of the country. But now we have almost passed the critical phase. Since we have ramped up our testing and facilities in our hospitals, we want to reduce the institutional quarantine to four days," Sarma said.

Assam reported first COVID-19 positive case on March 31 but since then the state's tally of positive cases have reached 1,226 on Sunday. At least 36 were releated to Tablighi Jamaat incident, 32 related to their contacts, 24 without travel history and 1,124 were detected from those who returned from rest of the country by trains, buses and cars after May 4. Nearly 2.30 lakh people have come back from rest of the country so far. Another one lakh is likely to come back similarly, he said.
 
Sarma said most of those who tested COVID-19 positive so far had returned from Tamil Nadu (333), Maharastra (312), Delhi (134), West Bengal (111), Harayana and UP (57 each), Rajasthan (31) and Karnataka (24).
 
"Most of these people tested positive while being in quarantine and thus we managed to prevent community transmission, except one or two cases. We have already conducted 1,04,083 tests, which is more than the tests conducted in Kerala, where healthcare facilities are better than us for long. Our target is to conduct two lakh tests by June 15 and hope June turns out to be a less worrisome month for us as far as our fight against Coronavirus is concerned," Sarma said.

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