Coronavirus outbreak: Assam witnesses highest spike in COVID-19 cases; State tally at 259

Alphonse Joseph

Guwahati, May 23: Assam witnessed the biggest single-day spike in the number of COVID-19 cases on Firday with 49 people testing positive for coronavirus, taking the infection tally to 259.

In a series of tweet, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that at least 46 were reported from different quarantine centers and hospitals in Guwahati, Tezpur, Jorhat and Silchar.

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"Alert, three more #COVID19 + cases detected, one each from Nagaon, Sivasagar and Tinsukia," he said. "In the biggest one-time spike in cases, 26 cases are confirmed #COVID19 +. They are all from Sarusajai Quarantine Centre," the minister said in another tweet in the evening.

Earlier, Sarma said 20 more people had tested positive for coronavirus. Out of these, seven are from Cachar district, six from Sonitpur, two from Sivasagar, and one each from Hailakandi, Dhakuakhana and Udalguri. The remaining two patients had already been admitted to Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) in Guwahati and Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH), he said.

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Assam now has 198 active cases, while 54 people have been discharged from hospitals after being cured. The state has recorded four fatalities due to the contagion. During the day, Sarma inaugurated an intensive care unit (ICU) dedicated for COVID-19 patients at Nagaon Civil Hospital.

Talking to reporters, he said the state government will ensure strict implementation of the seven days each of home and institutional quarantine process.

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"During home quarantine... nobody will be able to leave the premises during the period. We will give them Rs 2,000 worth of food items. We have formed a village-level committee to monitor this," the minister said.

Sarma said a non-bailable criminal case will be filed against people who refuse to follow the instructions. To screen people arriving from other states, the Assam government has set up five zonal screening camps besides the ones existing at the district headquarter and local levels.

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