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Covid cases rising in NE states, alarmingly in Assam

Guwahati/Imphal, Jan 6 (IANS) Covid cases are rising rapidly in the northeastern states, and alarmingly in Assam even as Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ruled out any lockdown in the state, suggesting stricter measures to curb the spread.

An analysis by IANS of the Assam Health Department's reports said that the daily positivity rate rose from 0.77 per cent rose to 2.37 per cent in the past one week.

Out of Assam's 34 districts, rise of Covid cases are maximum in four districts with Kamrup (Metro) district (where the main city of Guwahati and capital Dispur falls) reporting 369 active cases on Thursday followed by 57 in Jorhat, 52 in Kamrup (Rural) and 50 in Darrang district.

After Manipur (one case) and Meghalaya (five cases), Assam also reported its first Omicron case on Wednesday after a man, who returned from Saudi Arabia, tested positive for the new variant of Covid-19.

Health officials claimed that, notwithstanding rising Covid positive cases, the number of patients requiring hospitalisation has not gone up proportionally. According to the officials, only five per cent of the Covid beds in the state were occupied by the patients.

Sarma, after holding a review meeting with the officials on Thursday, ruled outa lockdown in the state.

However, he asked the district administrations and the health officials to maintain strict measures including preventing the gatherings and adheringAto the Covid protocols.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Keshab Mahanta, at a separate meeting in Guwahati, reviewed the situation arising from the rising Covid cases.

"Considering the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state, visited the Covid Care Center in Karambir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium, Sarusajai today (Thursday), along with the GMC Principal, and reviewed the facilities and services. Also took stock of the health conditions of the infected people," he tweeted.

With the rising Covid cases in the other northeastern states, the authorities have revised the Standard Operating Procedures and imposed new restrictions including curbing rapid inter-state movements, increase of sample tests, mandatory use of masks and bar on gatherings.