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No shortage of fund to deal with COVID-19, floods

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, June 27 - Though Assam is now facing COVID-19 and floods at the same time, there will be no shortage of fund and essential commodities to deal with the twin challenge, said Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna. He also said that though the 14-day total lockdown has been imposed in Guwahati city from the midnight of Sunday, it would be reviewed after seven days and the possibility of some relaxations cannot be ruled out if the situation improves.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Chief Secretary said the decision to impose a 14-day lockdown in Guwahati city was taken after a number of people without any travel history were found to be COVID-19 positive. He said the decision was taken after reviewing the situation in a high level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, which was also attended by the Health Minister.

He pointed out that there was a spike in the number of cases after the migrant workers reached the State, but the worrying factor is that a number of people without travel history were found positive. He alleged that majority of the people of the city did not adhere to the norms like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, which also added to the problem.

The Chief Secretary said that shortage of hospital beds is not a major issue as of now but �the government cannot allow the number of cases to grow.� He also pointed out that the testing facilities have been increased and now Assam is one of the best states of the country as far as testing is concerned. He said the government would review the situation after seven days of lockdown and some relaxations may be given. But it will all depend on the situation, he added.

When pointed out that many grocery shops witnessed overcrowding and shortage, while some traders also hiked the prices abnormally, Sanjay Krishna said the district administration and the supply department have been asked to look into the issue.

On floods and erosion, the Chief Secretary asserted that the government would be able to deal with the situation. �We have the experience of dealing with flood and erosion, but COVID-19 was something new for us,� he said. Additional funds have been released to the districts two days back to provide relief to the people affected by flood and erosion, he said, adding that there would be no shortage of funds and essentials to deal with floods.

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