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COVID-19 positivity rate comes down in State

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - The positivity rate of COVID-19 in Assam has come down sharply in the last one week and the threat of the State facing shortage of beds is now over, at least for the time being.

However, doctors are of the view that responsible behaviour of the people is the key to maintaining the downward trend and all sections of people must strictly adhere to the guidelines issued by the government in this regard.

Highly placed sources in the Health Department told The Assam Tribune that vigorous testing as well as isolation and treatment of patients paid dividends in bringing down the positivity level.

The sources pointed out that the positivity rate was around 8-9 per cent of those tested in July and August, and it has now come down to around 3 per cent, which is a very positive development for Assam. The death rate in Assam, which is around 0.38 per cent, is among the lowest in the country.

The sources revealed that in the last three days of September, around four lakh persons were tested, but the positivity rate remained as low as 3 per cent. The same trend continued in the first couple of days of October. �This happened because the government laid stress on testing and isolated the affected people so that they cannot transmit the virus to others. At one point of time, around 800 positive cases were detected daily in Guwahati city and now, despite increase in the number of persons tested, the number of positive cases found every day has come down to around 300,� the sources pointed out.

The sources also said that all the patients coming for outdoor treatment to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and MMCH are also tested before they are allowed in. At GMCH, around 800 persons are tested every day, while around 200 are tested at MMCH. The positive persons are isolated immediately.

Or else, such people could have affected hospital staff including doctors and other patients.

Some states have already stopped testing of people reaching cities by air, but in Assam, all people coming by air are also tested before they are allowed to mingle with others. The government is planning to continue vigorous testing for some time and the COVID testing centres set up in different localities would continue to function for some time.

On the availability of hospital beds, the sources said that there was an apprehension of the State facing shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, but that apprehension is now over. Around 750 beds are in use for COVID-19 patients at GMCH and though new patients are coming in, around 70-80 are discharged every day. Beds are also available in all the COVID care centres. Oxygen and other facilities are made available in several COVID care facilities. There was a time when affected people from other districts had to be brought to Guwahati for treatment, but that problem is now over as the positivity rate has come down in almost all the districts. ICU beds are also available for critical care.

Till Friday evening, more than 1.83 lakh people were affected in Assam, while 721 lost their lives. But the sources said that most of the deaths occurred due to the fact that the patients had co-morbidity, while in some cases, the patients came to hospitals late.

However, the sources said that to maintain the downward trend, people would have to be alert. �We cannot be complacent just because the rate of transmission has come down. People must wear masks, maintain social distancing and maintain hand hygiene strictly. Moreover, if any person shows any symptom, he or she should immediately report to a health facility to get tested. People will also have to behave in a very responsible manner during the ensuing Durga Puja festivities,� the sources added.

The sources further said that some of the affected people developed complicacies after they recovered from COVID-19 as the virus affected lungs. If any recovered person feels any discomfort, he or she should immediately consult a doctor.

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COVID-19 positivity rate comes down in State

GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - The positivity rate of COVID-19 in Assam has come down sharply in the last one week and the threat of the State facing shortage of beds is now over, at least for the time being.

However, doctors are of the view that responsible behaviour of the people is the key to maintaining the downward trend and all sections of people must strictly adhere to the guidelines issued by the government in this regard.

Highly placed sources in the Health Department told The Assam Tribune that vigorous testing as well as isolation and treatment of patients paid dividends in bringing down the positivity level.

The sources pointed out that the positivity rate was around 8-9 per cent of those tested in July and August, and it has now come down to around 3 per cent, which is a very positive development for Assam. The death rate in Assam, which is around 0.38 per cent, is among the lowest in the country.

The sources revealed that in the last three days of September, around four lakh persons were tested, but the positivity rate remained as low as 3 per cent. The same trend continued in the first couple of days of October. �This happened because the government laid stress on testing and isolated the affected people so that they cannot transmit the virus to others. At one point of time, around 800 positive cases were detected daily in Guwahati city and now, despite increase in the number of persons tested, the number of positive cases found every day has come down to around 300,� the sources pointed out.

The sources also said that all the patients coming for outdoor treatment to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and MMCH are also tested before they are allowed in. At GMCH, around 800 persons are tested every day, while around 200 are tested at MMCH. The positive persons are isolated immediately.

Or else, such people could have affected hospital staff including doctors and other patients.

Some states have already stopped testing of people reaching cities by air, but in Assam, all people coming by air are also tested before they are allowed to mingle with others. The government is planning to continue vigorous testing for some time and the COVID testing centres set up in different localities would continue to function for some time.

On the availability of hospital beds, the sources said that there was an apprehension of the State facing shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, but that apprehension is now over. Around 750 beds are in use for COVID-19 patients at GMCH and though new patients are coming in, around 70-80 are discharged every day. Beds are also available in all the COVID care centres. Oxygen and other facilities are made available in several COVID care facilities. There was a time when affected people from other districts had to be brought to Guwahati for treatment, but that problem is now over as the positivity rate has come down in almost all the districts. ICU beds are also available for critical care.

Till Friday evening, more than 1.83 lakh people were affected in Assam, while 721 lost their lives. But the sources said that most of the deaths occurred due to the fact that the patients had co-morbidity, while in some cases, the patients came to hospitals late.

However, the sources said that to maintain the downward trend, people would have to be alert. �We cannot be complacent just because the rate of transmission has come down. People must wear masks, maintain social distancing and maintain hand hygiene strictly. Moreover, if any person shows any symptom, he or she should immediately report to a health facility to get tested. People will also have to behave in a very responsible manner during the ensuing Durga Puja festivities,� the sources added.

The sources further said that some of the affected people developed complicacies after they recovered from COVID-19 as the virus affected lungs. If any recovered person feels any discomfort, he or she should immediately consult a doctor.

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