Lower primary schools in districts which have reported more than 100 cases have been directed to be closed on account of the surge in Covid-19 cases in Assam, said health and education minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma. “As of today, this includes Kamrup (Metro), Dibrugarh, Nagaon, Jorhat, Tinsukia, Cachar and Sonitpur districts,” said Sarma, addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Saturday, regarding the Covid situation in the state. “We have authorised the deputy commissioners to close the LP schools as and when they find more than 100 active cases in their district,” he said
After a staggered opening since September, schools (all classes) in Assam have been functioning in full capacity since January 1.
He added that a decision on the schedule of the State Education Board of Assam (SEBA) High School Leaving Certificate exams will be taken after the new government is elected on May 2. “By May 4 or 5, the announcement will be made,” he said, adding that the SEBA authorities would be discussing the matter in the next ten days. Additionally, vaccination camps will be set up in schools and colleges across Assam to vaccinate faculty above the age of 45.
Sarma said the cases reported in Assam in the second wave of the pandemic had mostly been from outside the state. “They have come from airports and railway stations, mostly those with travel history have tested positive,” he said, warning that the situation may change soon. “Only when and if it starts spreading, then the government will take other necessary steps to address it.” He said that this wasn’t required at the moment, ruling out a lockdown or a curfew at this point of time.
Sarma also said that cases were reported from urban centres, and not from places where the government had held major election rallies. A three-phase election in Assam ended on April 6.
Assam currently has 4,060 active cases of Covid-19, having reported 573 cases on Friday, with a positivity rate of 1.77 per cent. The overall caseload in the state has reflected an increase since April 7.
According to data from the National Health Mission, Assam 3,258 people were under home quarantine and 811 in hospitals currently. Sarma said that there was no shortage of oxygen, and adequate stock of Remdesivir injections — the latter will be provided free of cost to BPL patients. He said that the government has taken initiatives to ramp up availability of oxygen — 11 cryogenic vessels covering all seven medical college hospitals with storage capacity of 210 KL have been completed and commissioned. “Efforts are underway to install 19 plants of medical oxygen,” he said.