Guwahati, May 23 : Assam continued to witness a massive spike in the number of COVID 19 positive cases with 70 new patients detected so far today, stretching the quarantine and treatment facilities in the state as the overall tally reached 329. State Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma informed through Twitter that all the new patients are in quarantine. While seven COVID 19 positive cases were reported in the morning, 53 were detected in the afternoon and ten more in the evening, taking total new cases to 70. Dr Sarma informed that 44 cases are from Sarusajai Quarantine Centre, while seven each are from Dima Hasao and Hojai districts. Four cases have been found in Morigaon, two each from Cachar and Nalbari, and one each from Dhubri, Nagaon, Golaghat and Jorhat. One positive patient was discharged from MMC Hospital today following complete recovery, taking the number of recovered patients to 55. The rapid increase in the number of new cases has also put a pressure on the medical facilities, with Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital in Guwahati exhausting its capacity to admit COVID 19 positive patients. The state health department has converted the Kalapahar TB Hospital to a fully functional COVID 19 facility to take off the load from MMC Hospital, while new patients will also be admitted at Sonapur civil hospital on the outskirts of Guwahati. The facilities at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) here are being kept for treatment of critical cases. Dr Sarma said, “The Kalapahar TB Hospital has started functioning from this evening. It will work under GMCH from today. Twenty doctors, 30 nurses, 25 grade-4 staff and 9 cleaners have joined duties.” With people returning from outside the state accounting for the spike in positive cases, the state government has made quarantine mandatory for all returnees, while Dr Sarma renewed his appeal to people outside the State not to return unless it is necessary. “Assam is no longer safe.
Those who are planning to come to Assam seeking safety should abandon their plans. People must especially avoid returning in buses and trucks,” Sarma said. Maintaining that people were getting infected during their journey as safety norms are not followed, the minister said the Assam government is going to write to all states and ask them not to allow transit to such vehicles which are carrying people in violation of social distancing norms. (UNI)