With the Covid cases declining, it is still important to keep all the guards high to prevent a third wave of Covid.
As the famous saying goes, prevention is better than cure, it is important to discuss the successful models of different states to fight Covid. Even though the Kerala model and Odisha model got enough limelight, it is important to focus on the Assam model against Covid too. With a population of more than 3.5 crores, Assam is a vulnerable state for Covid but it managed to stay tall by tackling the pandemic with its proactive preparedness. The Assam government which was then led by Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma did a great job by swinging into action which was required and here’s a look at the Assam model against Covid.
How Did The Assam Government Tackle Covid?
At the beginning of the pandemic, Assam had three testing centres, a 2000 bed facility available in two stadiums, 5000 additional beds. In addition to that, 33 districts of Assam had dedicated centres for COVID-19 even before the first case was detected in the state on 31st March. Since then, Assam fought a long battle with COVID to win the situation and all the credit for it goes to the timely management of everything by the Government of Assam. Even though Assam did not conduct exclusive lotteries like Manipur Lottery for the people who were suffering financially, it ensured that the people who were quarantined got their timely supply by the government itself.
Assam became one of the first states to import 50,000 personal protection equipment, also known as a PPE kit from China. It screened more than 20 lakh people, and this includes the screening done in the airport and railway station and included travellers from other states. Further, the government asked the schools to shut down in the month of March and further prevented the school from raising their fees during the lockdown.
To ensure the financial security of the teachers, both the teaching and non-teaching staff got their salary without any pay cut. To ensure that the students are still learning, it launched “Gyan Briksha”, a local educational television channel for the students of classes 1 to 10 to curb their learning loss. It went a mile ahead to bring back 391 students from Kota to the home state. All the students brought back from Kota underwent the mandatory 14 days quarantine.
The Chief Minister of Assam then in the month of April announced an insurance cover of INR 50 lakhs for the Assam journalists. Better than even the Lottery Sambad, the state government supported its folk artists by providing them with INR 2000 on a monthly basis for three months to secure them financially. It also took care of its migrant labourers by giving them job cards, food rations for three months. Also, the MGNREGA daily wage was increased to INR 202 from INR 182. The Assam government took care of 55 lakh households by providing them 5 kg of rice in a month.
In addition to it, the Assam Government launched the Dhanwantari Scheme which ensured delivery of locally unavailable medicine. Further, strict non-bailable warrants as punishment for violators of quarantine rules were implemented. It also launched its very own COVID app COVAAS to increase awareness of COVID related information along with COVID Surakhsha to monitor the status of the patients who were home quarantined. The ASHA workers along with Multi-Purpose workers were sent to monitor the health of the quarantined people. Assam also acknowledged the efforts of doctors and nurses and ensured that they could spend their 14-day mandatory quarantine at Vivanta, a 5-star hotel of Taj.
The Success of Assam Model
Assam gracefully handed the influx of migrant workers in the state. It became one of the first states to make it mandatory for people travelling via flight for a 14-day quarantine. The testing system of the government was also very robust which helped in identifying early cases of Covid and then the treatment for the same was provided as per the requirement. The test conducted by Assam is one of the highest in the country. The high test rate resulted in a very low positivity rate in the state along with the death rate. The early detection of the Covid cases ensured timely treatment of the patients which saved many lives. The Assam model is indeed a very effective way to fight Covid.