Himanta Biswa Sarma in Jorhat on Monday. Image: Northeast Now

Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that an estimated 10,000 migrants per district would be arriving by train in the next 45 days after trains start running from Tuesday onwards.

This was apart from those who would be returning by vehicles or ambulances.

Addressing newspersons after inaugurating the 50-bedded ICU at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, Sarma said that quarantining such a large number of migrants in their home districts would be the greatest challenge in the days ahead.

“There will be about 1200 persons per train and the exact numbers and where the migrants were headed would be known by tomorrow,” he said.

For upper Assam, Sarma said that the train would stop at Dibrugarh railway station and screening and testing would be done at Dibrugarh following which they would be forwarded to their home districts.

Migrants from Jorhat too would first reach Dibrugarh and be screened before coming back to Jorhat. Likewise for other districts of

Upper Assam.

” We are planning to take the help of civil society in this regard and the local committee would be formed in this regard, ” he said.

Elaborating on how civil society could help in making the quarantine a success, he said that if someone returned home then a group of people, neighbours would ensure that the whole family become a containment zone.

“They would be fed by the villagers for 14 days,” Sarma said.

“The villagers would drop food at regular intervals at the gate of the house every day and keep a close watch that no one of the family including the migrant came out and mixed with others in the village,” Sarma added.

He further said that in case the numbers were large then hotels, educational institutes, etc., would be kept in readiness for quarantining the person.

He also said that local committees would be formed in the towns and villages and that these committees would be in charge of overseeing the quarantining of individuals who returned.

“The local committees would be announced tomorrow from Guwahati in consultation with the deputy commissioners of the respective districts, ” he further said.

Sarma said that the help of MLAs would be taken to set up washrooms and toilets in large numbers.

Sarma further said that that if a person developed symptoms or turned critical he would be sent to the zonal centres for treatment.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com