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Move to conduct 3 lakh COVID-19 tests in Guwahati

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 16 - Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today warned that the COVID-19 graph in Guwahati may shoot up further in the next month and said that to check the spread of the virus, the Health Department targets to conduct 3 lakh tests in the city.

While 1.10 lakh tests have been conducted in the city so far, the Health Department is recruiting 150 laboratory technicians to open 60 covid screening centres in the area sabhas. �Also, as the city steps into the unlock phase, it would be mandatory for employees in shops and officer goers � both government and private - to get their covid tests done. Of course, we may not be able to test each and every one. But we definitely would take a statistical sample size from the lot,� Sarma said.

�If we can do 3 lakh tests, we can expect a little normalcy by August end,� the Health Minister said, cautioning that the city might witness up to 1,000 cases in a day in the next few days. He informed that the Health Department is setting up three more RT-PR labs in the next one week at different institutions and a few more would come up by this month end.

�Our medical fraternity has been in constant touch with experts at AIIMS, Max and other such institutions. We have decided to go for aggressive treatment to check the mortality rate. Even at moderate stage, we are administering oxygen therapy and steroids and even Remdesivir with which we are getting the desired result,� Sarma said.

The State Health Department is also trying to procure two new drugs � Tocilizumab and Itolizumab � which are expected to help critical cases.

While the State reached the milestone of conducting 6 lakh tests, the Health Department decided to use the rapid antigen detection kits in other places as well.

Struggling to meet the rising bed demand of COVID-19 patients, the Health Department is setting up a covid Care Centre at the Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Management and Technology at Azara. There will be around 900 beds there.

Meanwhile, two COVID-19 patients � Bidul Ahmed (50) of Baksa and Upen Ch Sarma (63) of Kamrup (M) died today.

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