Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday downplayed the severity of the Covid-19 situation saying that there is no question of imposing a lockdown as the second wave of the infections have not reached many districts in the state.
Sarma said this at the Ugratara temple premises in Guwahati where he had gone to offer prayers on the occasion of Bohag Bihu.
The minister said that the state government will take a call on the Covid-19 situation post-Bohag Bihu celebrations.
“Covid-19 infections are surging mostly in towns connected with train and air travel and we can control the spread of the virus by exercising vigilance in airports and railway stations in the state. The second wave of the infections is yet to reach many districts,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma.
“100 per cent screening of all passengers for Covid-19 in all airports and railway stations has already been made mandatory. Now I don’t want to create a panic that may dampen the Bihu spirit,” he said.
The minister said that the government will keep a watch over the rising number of cases till about April 25 and then take a decision accordingly.
“Although a lockdown will not be imposed as it will badly impact the state’s economy, we will put in place certain restrictions depending on the number of cases recorded,” Sarma said.
The minister also said that the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccines, which are currently in short supply in the state will arrive within a week or so.
As regards the holding of HSLC examinations, the minister said that the exams will not be cancelled as it will impact the academic career of the students who will be seeking admission to different colleges for their higher secondary courses.
Meanwhile, a total of 385 people tested positive for Covid-19 till April 14, with Kamrup (metro) recording the highest number of cases at 201.
Three people have succumbed to the disease, taking Assam’s total death toll to 1,122.
The total number of cases in the state has reached 2,21,868 of which 3,200 are active cases.